Public speaking

I greatly enjoy meeting readers (and potential readers). Probably my favourite way of doing so is by giving public talks and answering questions from the audience, then getting into informal conversation.

Whether speaking or writing, I always strive for a lively, varied and personal style. My talks are based on sound linguistic knowledge, but are short on jargon, long on fun. Besides words, I also use images, and I may even sing a song about language. Don’t take my word for it: read what others had to say about my presentations.
I welcome various types of audiences, from general readers unfamiliar with linguistics to translators and polyglots. I can speak about any of the following subjects:
  • the linguistic and cultural challenges of translating LINGO into 8 languages;
  • languages of Europe: a light-hearted series of linguistic portraits, based on LINGO;
  • the world’s 20 largest languages, with their different linguistic cultures: stories based on BABEL;
  • English: what makes it the ideal language for the European Union;
  • personal and societal benefits of language-learning: an extended and revised version of my TEDx Talk;
  • the Arabic, Indian and Chinese scripts compared to our alphabets; 
  • scholarly crackpots and dilettantes in linguistics through the ages; 
  • making a living as a non-fiction writer.
Amerongen detailOther aspects of linguistics may or may not be within my competence. Feel free to inquire.

I have so far spoken at events in fifteen European countries, from Spain to Norway and from Scotland to Greece. I can address your audience in English, Dutch, German or Limburgish. I can also speak in Spanish or French, but the Q&A may have to take place in one of the other languages.

If you’re interested in inviting me, please send me a message. Kindly include information about 
what (your wishes regarding subject, duration, language etc.)
who (type and approximate size of audience)
where (type of event, venue)
when (date) and
how much (indication of your financial possibilities).

Before a recent talk …

… and during, with (pre-recorded) co-speaker Phạm Bảo Thanh Huyền.