Progressive Speaker Resources
Free resources and insights for progressive public commentators
Presentation Tips ⏳
- Organize your speech in a logical sequence: opening, main points, and summary.
- Practice and rehearse a speech frequently prior to delivering it. Ask friends to be your audience, or practice in front of a mirror. Be sure to use a timer to help you pace your speech.
- Become familiar with the stage or the setting where the speech will take place. Get a sense of the size of the stage, where any steps or obstacles might be, and where to enter and exit. If the engagement is remote / via a web cam, make sure you are aware of the technical requirements.
- Choose comfortable clothes to wear, maintain a professional appearance.
- Visual aids should fit a speech, whether they are funny, serious or technical. The main goal of visual aids is to help the audience understand what is being said, and reinforce the points of a speech in unique and interesting ways.
(Source: Toastmasters International)
Communication 💬 & Privacy 🛡️
"Keybase is for keeping everyone's chats and files safe, from families to communities to companies. MacOS, Windows, Linux, iPhone, and Android."
"Signal is a cross-platform encrypted messaging service developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC. It uses the Internet to send one-to-one and group messages, which can include files, voice notes, images and videos."
"Infinitely flexible. Incredibly easy to use. Great mobile apps. It's free. Trello keeps track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details."
"Create interactive experiences for your audience — get more responses. It's that simple. Try it FREE – no coding required."
Video Conferencing Tools 💻
"More secure, more flexible, and completely free video conferencing."
"Webinar software to bring your students, leads, customers and team members together."
"Webex is here when the world needs to connect, communicate and collaborate."
"Simplified video conferencing and messaging across any device."
"Easy video meetings with no sign ups or downloads."
Public Speaking Videos 📽
Voice and body language tips:
- Breathing Exercises For Speaking - Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety
- 4 essential body language tips
- The surprising secret to speaking with confidence | Caroline Goyder | TEDxBrixton
- Use Body Language to Rock Your Next Presentation
Science and power of storytelling:
- The Neuroscience Behind Storytelling [Uri Hasson]
- The science of stage fright (and how to overcome it) - Mikael Cho
- Fiction - The Brain is Wired for Story by Taoist Monk Yunrou
- MSLGROUP Storytelling
Longer discussions on public speaking and storytelling:
- Public Speaking Tips On How To Deliver a Great Talk
- Chris Anderson: "TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking" | Talks at Google
- Wired for Story: What Audiences Really Crave and How to Give it to Them
Written Resources 📝
- You can ask contacts who already know and like you to recommend you as a speaker
- Make sure that you have a high-quality video of you speaking, as well as a list of your topics, as those are the first things any organizer will ask to see
- It’s always worth inquiring about their budget
- For instance, you can email them: 'Thanks for getting in touch about your conference. It sounds really interesting. Can you provide some additional information about the topic you’d be interested in having me address, who the attendees will be, and your speaker budget?'"
- It's one of the most valuable business/career skills you'll ever have
- It's a skill that most definitely can be learned
10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills (Harvard Extension School)
- Keep the focus on the audience. Gauge their reactions, adjust your message, and stay flexible
- Delivering a canned speech will guarantee that you lose the attention of or confuse even the most devoted listeners
"At Liberty is a weekly podcast from the ACLU that explores the biggest civil rights and civil liberties issues of the day."
Chapo Trap House
"Chapo Trap House is an American political podcast founded in March 2016 and hosted by Will Menaker, Matt Christman, Felix Biederman, Amber A'Lee Frost, and Virgil Texas."
Current Affairs (podcast)
"From the Current Affairs World Headquarters to your ear, our podcast is a refreshing alternative to the stale and tedious audio products to which you have grudgingly become accustomed. We’re cutting through the nonsense, bursting open ideological piñatas, and presenting a friendly, relaxed, and upbeat guide to the world of politics."
"With Lee Camp and Eleanor Goldfield. Censored stories, sensible solutions and common ground movements to fight and build. And sometimes other stuff too."
CounterSpin Radio (FAIR)
"CounterSpin is FAIR’s weekly radio show, produced and hosted by Janine Jackson. It’s heard on more than 135 noncommercial stations across the United States and Canada. CounterSpin provides a critical examination of the major stories every week, and exposes what corporate media might have missed in their own coverage."
"Democracy Now! produces a daily, global, independent news hour hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. Our reporting includes breaking daily news headlines and in-depth interviews with people on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues."
"Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff began on a single Pacifica station in March 2011. Today, it is played on 120+ radio stations nationwide and available for video streaming online. Prof. Wolff’s takes complex economic issues and makes them understandable, empowering listeners with information to analyze not only their own financial situation, but the economy at large."
"Gilded Age is a podcast about how and why we're f*cked, with hosts Walker Bragman, Alex Kotch, and Mark Colangelo."
"Means TV is the world's first post-capitalist worker-owned streaming service."
Media Roots Radio
"Media Roots is a citizen journalism project that reports the news from outside of party lines while providing a collaborative forum for conscious citizens, artists and activists to unite."
"MintPress News is an independent watchdog journalism organization that provides issue-based original reporting, in-depth investigations, and thoughtful analysis of the most pressing topics facing our nation."
"Media for Free Minds."
Secular Talk | The Kyle Kulinski Show
"Home of news & politics commentary from the libertarian-left; populist; social democratic; agnostic-atheist perspective."
"Status Coup gives the microphone back to the people through aggressive in-the-field reporting and commentary that focus on stories of real struggle amongst everyday people—and the corruption causing it."
The David Pakman Show
"The David Pakman Show is a daily internationally syndicated politics and news talk show airing on radio, television, and the internet, and on Free Speech TV via DirecTV and DISH Network. The program first aired in August 2005."
The Empire Files
"Files logged by Abby Martin recording a world shaped by war & inequality."
"Trillbilly Workers Party is a podcast about a town called Whitesburg, Kentucky."
The Michael Brooks Show
"This is the free weekly edition of Michael Brooks Show (TMBS), a weekly politics and culture analysis show. To support the TMBS on Patreon and receive hours of weekly members-only content, subscribe at Patreon.com/tmbs."
"The Grayzone is an independent news website dedicated to original investigative journalism and analysis on politics and empire. It was founded and is edited by award-winning journalist and author Max Blumenthal."
The Humanist Report
"The Humanist Report (THR) is a progressive and democratic socialist political podcast that discusses and analyzes current news events and pressing political issues."
The Jimmy Dore Show
"Through this site, Jimmy Dore and Stefané Zamorano bring you laughs and some of your favorite comedian guests every week as they discuss comedy and everything else in the show of the same name."
The Ring of Fire
"The Ring of Fire started as a weekly syndicated radio show in 2004 for the purpose of exposing Wall Street thugs, environmental criminality, corporate media failure, and political backstories rarely found in the mainstream media. Since its formation, The Ring of Fire has expanded into a multi-media network for the latest progressive news, commentary, and analysis."
The Intercept - Podcasts & Spoken Edition
"On our weekly podcast, co-founder Jeremy Scahill and his guests give a deep analysis of the crucial issues of our time, and we hear from artists, writers, and thinkers who challenge our preconceptions about the world we live in. New episodes every Wednesday."
The Majority Report with Sam Seder
"Our 5x award-winning, daily program brings you the best progressive news commentary and longform conversations available today."
Thom Hartmann Program
"The Hartmann Report is an independent daily podcast hosted by award winning, author, radio & TV host Thom Hartmann. Thom’s podcast highlights the bigger picture behind politics, science and culture through discussion and debate."
Magazines / News 📰
"The CounterPunch website is offered at no charge to the general public over the world wide web. CounterPunch Magazine is published six times per year and is only available for those who subscribe."
"Common Dreams has been providing breaking news & views for the progressive community since 1997."
"Current Affairs is a refreshing antidote to political media. It’s a beautiful publication full of satire, wit, and elegance."
"Jacobin is a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture."
"Tarbell’s mission is to provide objective, investigative reporting on hard hitting topics effecting Americans; specifically related to healthcare, the environment, defense, and culture."
The American Prospect
"The American Prospect is devoted to promoting informed discussion on public policy from a progressive perspective. In print and online, the Prospect brings a narrative, journalistic approach to complex issues, addressing the policy alternatives and the politics necessary to create good legislation. We help to dispel myths, challenge conventional wisdom, and expand the dialogue."
"The Baffler, est. 1988, is a magazine of art, criticism, and political analysis, publishing bimonthly print issues as well as daily online dispatches."
"The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, covering progressive political and cultural news, opinion, and analysis."
"Since 1909, The Progressive has aimed to amplify voices of dissent and those under-represented in the mainstream, with a goal of championing grassroots progressive politics. Our bedrock values are nonviolence and freedom of speech."
"Protean collects cutting-edge literature and art for the discerning leftist, sans-advertisements. Protean Magazine is a thematic biannual magazine composed of essays, fiction, poetry, and art, each issue containing approximately 100 perfect-bound, full-color, ad-free pages of original works addressing the most pressing issues of our time."
Progressive organizations in the U.S. 🔊
American Civil Liberties Union
Nonprofit organization founded in 1920 "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States"
Black Lives Matter
International activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people
Brand New Congress
American political action committee formed by former staffers and supporters of the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign to elect hundreds of new congressional representatives in line with the campaign's political platform
Center for Economic and Policy Research
Economic policy think-tank based in Washington, D.C. which was co-founded by economists Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot
Center for Popular Democracy
American advocacy group that promotes progressive politics
"Internet activist-related entity which specializes in online-intensive and other grassroots activism to support Internet freedom, civil liberties, transparency, and human rights, and in opposition to censorship and corporate control of government."
"Extinction Rebellion is a global environmental movement with the stated aim of using nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action to avoid tipping points in the climate system, biodiversity loss, and the risk of social and ecological collapse."
Institute for Policy Studies
"American progressive think tank that focuses on U.S. foreign policy, domestic policy, human rights, international economics, and national security."
"An American progressive political action committee founded by Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, and Saikat Chakrabarti and Zack Exley, former leaders from the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign."
Movement for a People's Party
"Our vision is a coalition party that will deliver what regular people take for granted in so many other countries: single payer health care, free public college, money out of politics, an infrastructure jobs program, a $15 minimum wage, financial regulations, and more."
"American progressive political action organization spun out of Senator Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign to continue its work."
Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
"Nonprofit progressive legal organization based in Washington, D.C., which focuses on cases regarding free speech and dissent, domestic spying and surveillance, police misconduct, and government transparency."
"Established in 2016 as a merger of three national networks of community organizing groups, National People's Action, the Alliance for a Just Society and USAction, as well as of organizations like the Campaign for America's Future and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice."
"Liberal American think tank that exists to carry forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by developing progressive ideas and bold leadership in the service of restoring America’s promise of opportunity for all."
"American youth-led political movement coordinated by Sunrise, a 501(c)(4) political action organization that advocates political action on climate change."