This Speech is Not About Twitter

Robin Hood

Robin Hood (Photo credit: johnmuk)

Tonight I did my second speech from the Competent Communicator Manual. The excercise is ‘Structure Your Speech’. The title is ‘This Speech is Not About Twitter‘ and the time is meant to be 5-7 minutes (mine was just over 6 minutes). So here it is, the speech you’ve all been waiting for.
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I confess. For this speech I had difficulty settling on a topic. My interests are multitudinous and diverse – which to speak on? [Pause] Twitter is your friend. Mr Toastmaster, fellow members and guests.

Twitter abounds with Top 10 Lists, and it was to these that I looked for inspiration. I came across top 10 macro shots, top 10 children’s books and top 10 celebrity hairstyles. I saw top 10 science experiments to do at home, top 10 crime shows and top 10 horror films. There were top 10 vampires, top 10 sexy pirates and top 10 Robin Hoods. Hold on. Robin Hoods? Now there’s something I could speak about. Not the swashbuckling Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner and Jonas Armstrong variety of course, but the Real Robin Hood.

There are various legends regarding Robin Hood. Some say he was a Saxon nobleman by the name of Sir Robert of Locksley, others that he was the Earl of Huntingdon, still others that he was a lowly yeoman, a commoner, lower than a squire. Legends are strange creatures and any, or all, of these might be true. However, a gentleman by the name of John Paul Davis believes differently. Last year, he published a book entitled Robin Hood: The Unknown Templar. In it he revisits the original ballads in the hopes of discovering the true identity of that most famous of outlaws. Davis begins by establishing that Robin lived during the reign of Edward II, not Richard the Lionheart as is commonly believed. By studying descriptions of Robin Hood’s military prowess and his detailed knowledge of banking, in combination with his strict dedication to chastity, poverty and obedience and his particular reverence for the Virgin Mary, Davis contends that Robin Hood and his Merry Men were actually a band of Knight’s Templar, hiding out in Sherwood Forest after a Papal Bull declared the order heretical.

Hey! Wait a sec! The Knight’s Templar! People seem interested in them. I see them mentioned all over the place, after all. I could talk about that! The Knight’s Templar were a Christian religious military society established in 1118. Originally established to protect Christian pilgrims traveling the roads leading to and from the holy land, the Knights were accommodated in the palace of King Baldwin II. Although individual knights were vowed to poverty, the order as a whole became quite wealthy. As their influence increased, they eventually began lending money to European Monarchs, earning extra money by charging deposit fees. As might be expected, this vast reservoir of wealth attracted the wrong kind of attention. In 1307, Philip IV of France, who was experiencing financial difficulties, fabricated charges of devil worship and heresy against the order. On the morning of Friday 13 October, several key Templars were arrested, tortured and eventually executed for their alleged crimes, and their assets seized by the crown. In England, arrests were delayed until December and mainly snared the aged and infirm, strengthening the argument that those her were able-bodied saw what was coming and escaped to various forests and villages, including Sherwood Forest.

As may be expected with such a secretive society, conspiracy theories abound, the most famous being that the Templars were concealing and protecting the bloodline of Christ Himself. Oh! I know! I can talk about conspiracy theories! There is certainly no shortage of those! If you listen to the right people, you will know that the world is ruled by shape-shifting Masonic lizard-men who worship Satan and wish to revert humanity to state of primitive slavery. You will know that these lizard-men, called the Illuminati, had planned to murder Micheal Jackson for threatening to out them, but he beat them to it by faking his own death, and is currently living in Nevada with Elvis and Lady Di. You will know that despite the existence of this Illuminati, the real power is the CIA who are behind all significant world events including Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 and the AIDS epidemic. You will be aware of the dangers involved in water fluoridation, vaccinations and Digital TV. As the saying goes, just because I’m paranoid, doesn’t mean no-one’s out to get me!

So, let me see. Top Ten lists. Robin Hood. Knight’s Templar. Conspiracies. Alas, all of these are far too detailed for a 5-7 minute speech. [sigh] Oh well. I guess I’d better get back to twitter.

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