I came fairly late to public speaking, though I was on stages in front of audiences much earlier: I just had to hide behind an electric guitar!
It’s probably to everyone’s benefit that I turned to writing instead—though anyone who caught my early poetry readings might argue otherwise. Nonetheless, it was good training, which was subsequently built upon a decade and change as an academic researcher.
In recent years, I’ve been privileged (and delighted) to be invited to speak at all sorts of events outside the academy. To use a musical analogy, it’s a bit like finally being told you don’t have to play in one particular key (and maybe even getting to throw in the occasional solo).
Sadly, many of the talks I’ve given have not been made available publicly—though I can quote Kristin Östling of CMB Chalmers (Gothenburg) who, in reference to my presentation at their 2023 Lederskapsdagen, said:
I can highly recommend Paul Graham Raven, who, in his understated manner, truly captivates the audience and takes them on a breathtaking journey into alternative futures. Or how about a score of 4.73 out of 5 possible points in our audience evaluation?
That was a talk to professionals, of course, representing my field and my work; hence the “understated manner”. But sometimes I also get asked to give critical talks on sociotechnical and cultural issues to more general audiences… and you might say I’m a bit less “understated” in such circumstances! A couple of examples can be seen below, if you’re curious.
Would you like me to come and talk to your department, firm, organisation, conference? Then please drop me a line!
(I don’t fly, so I can only do in-person appearances in locations reachable from southern Sweden by train and/or ferry, but I’m sure we can work something out.)