"Some of the sweetest sounds that a speaker can hear are the surprised ripple of laughter from the audience, the murmurs of approval at praise well deserved, and the firm hand of applause at the end of a speech, a sound of clapping that goes beyond the polite." -- After Dinner Speaking by Fawcett Boom This little book was published in 1991. I think I picked it up some time in the 1990s, when I was putting in my time with various Bar organizations and had to do my share of speaker introductions and opening remarks. Too bad I never read the book back then. I usually ended up winging it and my attempts at public speaking were always too glib, too rushed, and generally botched. Never too late to learn, though, so I am finally going to read this book. For one thing, that will get it off my nightstand where it has lived for the last 15 years.