Friday fun: What could you talk about for 30 minutes with no prep?

I was captivated by this on Twitter last night.

My initial response:

Though I could add in things that Alex Cole-Hamilton has said that made me laugh, the amazing brilliance of the Lib Dems in coalition…. in Scotland 1999-2007, fighting Labour in Chesterfield 1992-2000, Willie Rennie, farm animals and all.

I thought about adding in “Amazing Women in the Lib Dems” but I only have 30 minutes, not 30 days. And if you added in awesome women from other parties – Kezia Dugdale, Alison Thewliss, Caroline Lucas, Stella Creasy and Harriet Harman just for starters – then the whole enterprise would take a lot longer.

And my god I want to her Jennie do 30 minutes on Tom and Jerry. Can we please start crowdfunding for the fringe meeting at Bournemouth now?

So, 30 minutes, an audience that appears out of nowhere, what do you talk about?

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • David Warren 10th May '19 - 10:40am

    Reading Football Club in the 70s, 80s and 90s

    Fighting Labour from the inside

    Industrial Relations in Royal Mail

    My life as a carer

  • @David – Robin Friday? Or would would that be disqualified for taking an hour or two?

  • Richard Underhill 10th May '19 - 11:42am

    I have a nice comfortable chair at home and have slept through speeches by Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair etcetera. I have a book called “The future of socialism” which I bought for one pound, remaindered, but I have not yet read.
    Yesterday I was listening to a Europa League semi-final. It went to extra time, but when I woke up Nigel Farage was on, expert in “the dialogue of the deaf”, 2016. I had missed the penalty shoot-out, won by Chelsea. There are hopes that BT will license both finals free to air. One has VAR.
    Sport provides something to say. Between 1900 and 1960 it was thought impossible to win the league and the FA Cup in the same year. Two points for a win, no substitutes for any reason. Spurs did it.
    The best fans in the world are the Tiffosi. No contest. but even they got bored when Michael Schumacher won his seventh world driver championship, mostly for Ferrari. Sadly, he went off piste, presumably sober. His son is a contender, but the best in the world is British, Lewis Hamilton. They play the national anthem for him, many times, our national anthem.
    Try reducing your 30 minute speech to five minutes, without notes. I did that in Paris at a Liberal International Congress, noting a sigh across the delegates when I said that the UK Prime Minister had voted in favour of what she called capital punishment, while her Home Secretary spoke against and voted against, as did our MPs, except for one, unnamed, who had since retired.
    I also spoke for (only) 5 minutes at federal conference proposing a motion to free John McCarthy, a British journalist who had been kidnapped in the Lebanon and offered for ransom. The British PM said that “We do not talk to terrorists” and did nothing else, but the kidnappers were not terrorists. They would deliver if paid and did so for an American Christian who went to Belfast to help another kidnap victim who was freed for free by the Irish PM, Charles Haughey. A stain on her memory.
    The British Foreign Secretary had served a previous PM, was wiser than the then PM and managed to free John MacCarthy without breaching the PM’s policy and without paying money. In the leadership campaign that followed he came third, which says something about the values of government MPs.
    Impossible? Is it really? or does it need more thought?

  • Too many things. Top of the list? Russian Literature.

  • Without being immodest, I think I could probably talk about almost anything, and often do. As a university lecturer and as a councillor I have often been called upon to speak with no notice to a variety of audiences. It’s part of being a politician isn’t it?

  • Richard Underhill 10th May '19 - 1:03pm

    Mick Taylor. The personable academic David Marquand was invited to be guest speaker at a fringe meeting at conference, but after the meeting disagreed about what a new organisation should be called he said that as an academic he was unable to shorten his speech to the reduced amount of time. Amusing but true, cf Liberator magazine.
    Bearing in mind that over-running the time might cost money to a hotel, and that the attention span of many of his students might be short, was he right in declining to speak for about 30 minutes?

  • David Warren 10th May '19 - 1:18pm

    @David Evans

    My Dad took me to my first Reading game in 1976 when I was 12. Robin Friday was playing for us then but left to go to Cardiff City that season so his time at our club and in football was coming to an end. I have vague memories of seeing Robin but sadly missed his golden years.

    However It wasn’t long before I was able to watch some other brilliant centre forwards including Kerry Dixon, Trevor Senior and Jimmy Quinn.

    Happy Days.

  • Peter Watson 10th May '19 - 1:42pm

    As Mark Twain supposedly said,

    If you want me to speak for an hour, I am ready today.
    If you want me to speak for just a few minutes, it will take me a few weeks to prepare.

  • Tony Greaves 12th May '19 - 9:42pm

    Anything at all…

  • Simon Banks 16th Jul '19 - 8:39pm

    The English Civil War and Commonwealth (well, it was my special subject in the last year at Cambridge)
    Suzy the Cat
    Seven and a Half Years as a Local Party Officer
    Long-distance Trail Walking
    The American Political System

  • Yeovil Yokel 16th Jul '19 - 10:15pm

    Natural habitat management.
    Growing cider apples.
    British colonial expansion in S. E Asia 1786 – 1850.
    Watching the Humber Bridge being constructed for 3 years but moving away from Hull 3 days before it opened to traffic.
    King Rama IV of Thailand (King ‘Mongkut’ of The King & I)
    Electric cars.

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