View Full Version : my speech on ligotti...

10-22-2005, 01:20 PM
so the other day in my public speaking class, we had to do our "special occassion" speeches. the occassion was an award ceremony. our speeches are presented extemporaneously which means we have an outline with key facts, quotes and whatnot, and we just fill in the blanks. It's a mixture of manuscript and improvisation. It's supposed to be the best form. I was presenting Ligotti with a Bram Stoker Award (I never said which one). After it was all said and done, my professor said I did a pretty good job (better than last time...I got an 84). We had 3 minutes and my time was 2:49...a little short but not bad. So this was my outline:

I. Introduction:
A. Establish credibility for the honoree/ and or organization:

1. Example One: "How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads, to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams." --Bram Stoker (1)

2. Example Two: "For a horror story to be effective, it must both reflect and deform the world we know, the place in which we eat and fight and procreate" --Thomas Ligotti (2)
This is why...

B. Pause:

II. Body:

A. Discuss what the award represents:

1. Example One: Created by the Horror Writers Association. First president was Dean Koontz
"Every [horror author] wants to win a stoker" (3)

2. Example Two: Purpose is to "recognize outstanding work in the horror field and to publicize HWA's activities...not to compete against one another" (4)

B. Describe the selection process:

1. Example One: "Any work of Horror first published in the English language may be considered for a Stoker during the year of its publication" -- (5)

2. Example Two: Voting by ballot first to determine finalists and then winner.

C. Summarize the qualifications of the recipient:
1. Who: Thomas Ligotti.
Relative hermit.
"Are you out there, Thomas Ligotti? You have a lot to answer for. but I've never been able to discover anything of substance about you. That's the way you seem to want it." -- Poppy Z Brite (6)
Influences include Poe, Borges, Kafka, and H.P. Lovecraft
2. What: Ligotti's stories have been labeled as "horrific, weird, psychological, surreal, or dark fiction...perhaps the most accurate description is that his work as a whole may be defined as nihilistic short fiction." (7)
3. Why: "Thomas Ligotti is an absolute master of supernatural horror and weird fiction, and a true original." --Ramsey Campbell (8)
Previous awards:
BSA - The Nightmare Factory
BSA - "The Red Tower"
BSA - "My Work Is Not Yet Done"
International Horror Guild Award, Long Form - "My Work Is Not Yet Done" -- (9)
4. Latest work is a sort of "Best of" collection featuring works from The Nightmare Factory (including "The Red Tower" and others)
5. "Thomas Ligotti...has extended Lovecraft's cosmicism by suggesting that an inescapable malignancy and nightmare [inherent] in all existence, manifesting itself in both the individual psyche and the physical cosmos." (10...this could go along with Point 2) -- Douglas A. Anderson

D. Pause:

III. Conclusion:
A. Closing memorable statement: "I think thereís a great potential in horror fiction that isnít easily available to realistic fiction. This is the potential to portray our worst nightmares, both private and public, as we approach death through the decay of our bodies. And then to leave it at thatóno happy endings, no apologias, no excuses, no redemption, no escape." --(11)

10-22-2005, 10:26 PM
Michael, thank you for posting that. Impressive, indeed!

10-22-2005, 11:16 PM
yeah it was a pretty cool speech to deliver. All you do is connect the dots between your main points (that's where the improv comes in...something I'm good at)

The Silent One
10-23-2005, 12:15 AM
Yo :shock:! 10 out of 10! Thorough!

matt cardin
10-23-2005, 02:05 AM
Believe it or not, one of the classes I'm required to teach at the high school where I work is public speaking, and I do indeed have the students perform the exact type of special occasion/awards speech you describe. (I'm told it's something of a tradition among speech teachers. As for me, I just do it because it's in the notes that I inherited, so to speak, from the lady who served as my own high school speech teacher, and who is a close personal friend of my birth family.)

Anyway, I must say that I would love to have somebody in one of my classes get as impassioned about some topic, any topic, as you are about Ligotti, and deliver a speech on it. But that's not at all likely, so I do thank you for sharing your notes, which are most impressive not only for their scope and organization, but for the level of thought and enthusiasm they display.

10-23-2005, 09:31 AM
thanks, matt. My reference sheet was rather extensive. The outlines we use are basic Aristotlian(?) outlines that our professor gives us. It's fairly straightforward.

I bet you'd make for an interesting teacher.

10-23-2005, 12:20 PM
I bet you'd make for an interesting teacher.

So would I, though I don't know what I'd study under Matt: a course on reading horror fiction, comparative religion and philosophies, creative writing, etc.

10-23-2005, 10:46 PM
sooo many choices soooo little matt cardin

duplicate yourself now!

matt cardin
10-26-2005, 08:37 AM
I suspect I would enjoy having any or all of you in class fully as much, or probably more, than you would enjoy having me as the teacher. Actually, I'd just cancel the whole teacher-student role division schtick for the day, which is a complete drag anyway, especially in a public school, and would call for an open bull session since this would inevitably prove more interesting than anything planned in advance.

10-26-2005, 11:39 AM
I was trying to spend the last few minutes trying to think of a Ligotti-related pun for "Socratic method," but I'm at a loss. :lol:

The Silent One
10-26-2005, 11:23 PM
Question everything until the subject becomes either a psychopath, cynic, catatonic, religious devotee of Azathoth, Neo-Gothic, or suicidally depressed. In the best of circumstances :wink:.