Progressive Speaker Resources

A free directory for progressive speaker tips & tricks.

Quick Tips

  • Organize your speech in a logical sequence: opening, main points, 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.
  • Choose comfortable clothes to wear, but always 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.

(taken from Toastmasters International)

Written Resources

  • How to Land Your First Paid Speaking Gig (HBR)
    - 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

  • How Much Should You Charge for a Speech? (HBR)
    - It’s always worth inquiring about their budget
    - If you don’t ask, conference organizers are delighted to never bring up money at all and assume you’ll speak for free. 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?'"


  • A Quiet Person's Guide To Effective Public Speaking (Forbes)
    - Most normal people start off fearing it (slightly preferable to losing a limb
    -
    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


  • Your Step-by-Step Guide to Become a Better Public Speaker Fast (The Muse)
    - Find out who you’ll be speaking to, what you’ll be talking about, and how long the speech should be. Once you know what you’ll be covering, you’ll be able to figure out what your goal will be
    - Are you there to solve a problem? Answer a question? Sell an idea? This goal will be the focal point of your entire speech

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

 

  • Demand Progress
    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
  • Institute for Policy Studies
    American progressive think tank that focuses on U.S. foreign policy, domestic policy, human rights, international economics, and national security.
  • Justice Democrats
    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
  • Our Revolution
    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
  • People's Action 
    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
  • Roosevelt Institute
    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"
  • Sunrise
    American youth-led political movement coordinated by Sunrise, a 501(c)(4) political action organization that advocates political action on climate change

Lefty media

  • ACLU podcast
    "At Liberty is a weekly podcast from the ACLU that explores the biggest civil rights and civil liberties issues of the day."
  • 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."
  • 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."
  • Common Censored
    "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!
    "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
    "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."
  • 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."
  • Secular Talk | The Kyle Kulinski Show
    "Home of news & politics commentary from the libertarian-left; populist; social democratic; agnostic-atheist perspective."
  • Status Coup
    "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."
  • Mintcast
    "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."
  • 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."
  • 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 Grayzone
    "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 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."

Videos on public speaking (use blue arrows to browse)

Voice and body language tips

Science and power of storytelling

Longer discussions on public speaking and storytelling

Helps us improve this list!

Know an organization, media outlet, video, or other progressive resource that belongs here. We'd love to hear from you!