I actually enjoyed reading Speak Up, Speak Out by Derek O’Brien. A collection of elocution passages he obviously treasures. There is a headnote with every piece giving his point of view about it. While browsing through the book I rediscovered favourite passages from Shakespeare and more. He has even included speeches made by politicians like the President of United States, Obama and ex-Indian President, Abdul Kalam Azad and of course Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s “Tryst with Destiny” speech made in August 1947. It is not surprising to find prominent politicians significant speeches since they are truly good examples of elocution. It also makes sense given that Derek O’Brien apart from being a brilliant quiz master is now a member of the Indian Parliament too.
It is an interesting how such a collection makes one recall favourite pieces too like Shylock’s speech from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. It also made me wonder what are the equally well-known elocution pieces in the regional languages of India? Frankly I think it would be super if there was a Google+ hangout organised where Derek O’Brien actually recited some of these pieces and interacted with students and teachers. Or for that matter created an audio version to accompany the printed book. It would help students also figure out the correct pronunciation. Ultimately this is a collection of elocution pieces which is subjective. Yet a very good start to build upon. It is a must in every school library.
This book has been launched by a new children’s and YA imprint in the Indian market called Red Turtle. It is part of Rupa Publications Pvt. Ltd and the Editorial Director is Sudeshna Shome Ghosh.
Derek O Brien Speak Up, Speak Out: My Favourite Elocution Pieces and How to Deliver Them