IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen || Phone 630 718 1643

Today’s Evocative Word from Mark Twain: CRUELTY


How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – CRUELTY – to get ’em evocating!

“The performance began at a quarter past two, and I, number three in a list of ten (if we include the introducer), was not called to the bat until a quarter after three. My reading was ten minutes long. When I had selected it originally, it was twelve minutes long, and it had taken me a good hour to find ways of reducing it by two minutes without damaging it. I was through in ten minutes. Then I retired to my seat to enjoy the agonies of the audience. I did enjoy them for an hour or two; then all the CRUELTY in my nature was exhausted and my native humanity came to the front again. By half past five a third of the house was asleep; another third were dying; and the rest were dead. I got out the back way and went home.”

Source: Mark Twain Autobiography

Above is an excerpt from  – What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin  from Conor Cunneen which provides wit and wisdom from the great man to help you craft better speeches and presentations.


Mark Twain, long recognized as a wonderful author and humorist was possibly THE most successful professional speaker ever. He enthralled audiences from Berlin to Boston, from Montana to Melbourne with storytelling full of humor, pathos and humanity. He was regarded by many as an exceptional impromptu speaker, except he wasn’t! Twain worked diligently at his craft, researching, writing, rewriting and memorizing his material.

In this book, I showcase the words of Twain and his contemporaries via a unique MARK TWAIN acronym to highlight what Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speaking. The nine lessons provide a memorable and implementable framework for great speech making and presentation.

The MARK TWAIN acronym spells:

Message preparation


Relate to audience

Know your objective

Titter and humor

Wait (the Pause)



Narration and Stagecraft