The art of presentation and speaking has evolved significantly over the past decades.

John Mayburry

The art of presentation and speaking has evolved significantly over the past decades. In this blog post, we will compare the differences in speaker presentation between 1964, 1994, and 2023.


The 1960s was a time of political and social change, and public speaking reflected these changes.

One of the most significant issues of the time was New Zealand’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Many public speakers, particularly those on the left of the political spectrum, spoke out against the war and called for New Zealand troops to be withdrawn. Anti-war protests were common during this time, and public speakers often played a prominent role in organizing and speaking at these events.

Other issues that were being discussed by public speakers in 1964 included nuclear disarmament, women’s rights, and the rise of consumer culture. There were also many prominent speakers visiting New Zealand during this time, including civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, who spoke to large audiences and inspired many with their messages of hope and equality.

Speakers during this era tended to use a more formal and eloquent style of speaking, with a focus on proper grammar and syntax. They often used long, complex sentences and rhetorical devices such as parallelism and alliteration. The delivery was also slower, with a focus on enunciation and pronunciation.

In terms of presentation, speakers during this era often relied on handwritten notes or printed speeches. They would stand behind a podium and read their speech, occasionally looking up to make eye contact with the audience. The use of visual aids was limited, with most speakers relying solely on their words to convey their message.


The 1990s saw the rise of technology and the beginning of the digital age, which had a significant impact on public speaking. Speakers during this era began to use more visual aids, such as PowerPoint presentations and videos, to enhance their speeches. They also started to use more casual language and informal speaking styles, with a focus on connecting with the audience on a personal level.

Speakers during this era also began to use more humour and storytelling in their speeches, rather than relying solely on facts and statistics. The delivery was faster and more conversational, with a focus on engagement and interaction with the audience.

In terms of presentation, speakers during this era often used computer-generated visuals to accompany their speeches. They would stand at a podium or walk around the stage, using gestures and body language to emphasize their points. Eye contact with the audience was also more frequent, with speakers making a conscious effort to connect with their listeners.


As we move into the future, the art of public speaking continues to evolve. Speakers in 2023 are likely to be even more tech-savvy, using advanced technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality to create immersive experiences for their audience.

Speakers in 2023 are also likely to focus even more on connecting with their audience on a personal level. They may use social media to engage with their listeners before and after the speech, creating a sense of community and belonging.

In terms of delivery, speakers in 2023 may use more natural language processing and machine learning to personalize their speeches for each individual audience member. They may also use interactive technologies such as voice recognition and natural language processing to create more engaging and interactive experiences for their audience.

In terms of presentation, speakers in 2023 may use holographic technology to create three-dimensional visuals that can be seen from any angle. They may also use virtual reality and augmented reality to transport their audience to different locations and create immersive experiences.


Public speaking has come a long way since the 1960s, and it is likely to continue evolving in the future. While the style and delivery of speeches may change, the goal remains the same – to communicate a message and connect with an audience.

Whether it’s through a formal, eloquent speech or an interactive, tech-savvy presentation, the art of public speaking will continue to be an important skill for anyone who wants to make an impact in the world.

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