Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blarney Certified Professional Speaker

As a professional business speaker I could not pass up the opportunity to kiss the "Legendary Stone of Eloquence". This mystical stone, set high in an outside wall of the famous Blarney Castle in County Cork, Ireland, has been kissed by American presidents, world leaders, and international entertainers, and promises to give one the ability to never be at a loss for words.

The legend of the Blarney Stone is that an old witch cast a spell on the stone to reward a Scottish King who saved her from downing. The stone was believed to have special powers, and thus the kings of Scotland were crowned over the magical rock . Kissing the stone would give the kings the power to talk sweetly and to persuade others to their point of view. The stone was given to Cormac McCarthy by Robert The Bruce (of Scotland) for his support in battle in 1314. Later, McCarthy's descendant negotiated with the British crown, and creatively found a way to let both sides "win", causing Queen Elizabeth I to proclaim that he was giving her "a lot of Blarney". Since that time it has been believed that anyone who kisses this stone will have "the gift of gab", and the ability to persuade.

The difference between "blarney" and "baloney" is the following:

Baloney is when you tell a fifty-year-old woman that she looks eighteen. Blarney is when you ask an older woman her age, because you want to know the age at which a woman is most beautiful.

Having grown up in a large talkative Irish family (my mother was one of ten, and I am the youngest of twenty-six grandchildren), the legend of Blarney was one that I had heard many times. Being a verbose kid, my mother used to warn me never to kiss that stone! Millions of people have made the pilgrimage to this ancient castle, to experience the fabled rock. To kiss it you must hang over the edge of the castle. In years past they held you by your ankles, but now they play it much safer. Leaning back and holding the metal bars, you still feel freaked out by the sensation. Not to mention that the rock is cold and slimy when you kiss it.

Bill Clinton mentioned at a 2004 fundraiser that he had kissed the Blarney Stone, causing Jay Leno to muse that "Clinton had originally denied it, claiming that the stone had kissed him." (If I had known Clinton had kissed the stone before me I might have rethought the whole thing!).

So now I am a Blarney Certified Professional Speaker, and I am not even going to raise my speaking fee.

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

Aruni Gunasegaram said...

Sounds like you had a great time. The next time I see you, I'll see if you are able to persuade me to do something. :-)