The three golden rules of public speaking

By Gordon Rugg

These rules have been floating around for a long time, under various attributions. One version says that this is what US Air Force pilots are told if they have to testify to external inquiries after something very bad has happened. Whatever their origin, these rules now crop up in situations ranging from PhD vivas to interviews in politics. When you know why the third rule doesn’t necessarily contradict the first rule, then you see the world in a new light…

First golden rule:       Don’t lie.

Second golden rule: Don’t try to be funny.

Third golden rule:     Above all, don’t panic and blurt out the truth.