035: Graeme Blackman - On the Lost Art of Verbal Communication

Graeme Blackman is the co-founder and President of Lumos, an organization aimed at giving voice to the next generation, helping them articulate their brightest selves.  Now, at Lumos, Graeme helps high school students to become more compelling presenters, more articulate conversationalists and more confident storytellers.  

In this episode of This Moved Me, Graeme and I talk about the gap that many high school students face in communicating powerfully.

Listen to the podcast

You can listen in iTunes, Stitcher - or, if you're reading this via email, through our website!

Show highlights

In this episode we discuss:

  • How a Shakespearian soliloquy inspired Graeme's love for speaking
  • The particular communications challenges of this younger generation
  • What makes this art "lost" to this generation in particular
  • The commonality of a great conversation with a great presentation
  • The power of story - and the importance of experience in creating those
  • One of our favorite moments from a speech... (see below)
  • How they help their students discover and maintain their "authenticity"

[Tweet "Bobby Kennedy, JFK, MLK... it was the power of their words, of their speeches - and the delivery of those speeches that inspired great change in the world. - Graeme Blackman on @ThisMovedMe"]

This Moved Me Moments:


A Unilever ad about the power of the next generation of leaders - that with new issues we need new speeches. Inspiring, and let Graeme know he's doing the right work. Check it out:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5wcpuAARQk&w=560&h=315]


I emcee'd REDTalks - an alumni event for my alma mater (CSB/SJU) - where we highlight students, alums and faculty who are doing great things in the world by asking them to come share a 5-minute talk.

One speaker in particular really moved me. Bob Bell, author of the book, UnMoving Fourward, about overcoming life's obstacles. You would think being a quadriplegic might slow someone down, but not Bob. His story is truly amazing. I tried to share part of his story in the podcast - but honestly, if you have a chance to hear him tell it himself, please do!

And - here is that amazing speech from Bobby Kennedy's funeral by his brother Ted. If you haven't listened to it, now's the time. The first four minutes are fine - lovely and restrained, as you might expect at a funeral. But the last minute we see a crack in Ted's composure, and it is beautiful, real and simply sears through the rest of the facade.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N105wUjgTcM&w=420&h=315]


I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode!

iTunes! Have you had a chance to subscribe, rate and review This Moved Me yet?  Super easy, and you win a place in my heart always. Bonus!

THANKS for all of your support and enthusiasm for this little podcast... I truly appreciate it!

Let's keep this conversation going:

Graeme and I talked about the "lost art" of verbal communications. Honestly, I don't think it's just a challenge for the "young people."  What do you think?  Is it becoming a lost art?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments or let me know on Twitter.

About Graeme:

After graduating from Franklin and Marshall College with a B.A. in Business, Graeme worked as a public relations professional at one of the country’s leading communication firms. Today, Graeme is an entrepreneur who has launched Lumos in an effort to couple his passion for public speaking with the enjoyment he receives from working with kids.

Graeme coaches youth soccer, bagpipes with one of the world’s top pipe bands, and lives in Natick, Massachusetts. 

You can also find Lumos on Facebook, and Graeme on Twitter.


Read this post on This Moved Me.