DMeetup with Chérif Ezzeldin

1 May 2023
12:00 - 13:00 CET

Our 31st Direct Members MeetUp of 1 May, 2023 on “Voice and Values” with Chérif Ezzeldin was well received and we had a vibrant discussion on how speech patterns are used over the spans of time.

Cherif shared of a video of princess Elizabeth’s 21st birthday Dedication Speech pitted against Prince Henry’s closing ceremony speech of the 2016 edition of the Invictus games. The examples were not chosen as equivalents but as illustrations of two very different accepted speech norms from the same emblematic institution over a certain period of time.

From personal impressions opening onto notions of what makes a ‘Cultural Mediator’ and considerations of meta-narration through voice such as transmitting a strong sense of colonialism through a form of self-confidence that distills unquestioned entitlement, the discussion on how voice transmits values, covered areas such as:

  • egalitarianism and power distance,
  • the values instilled when teaching a foreign language,
  • the importance of conscious and unconscious choices in communication styles dictated by roles, -the compatibility between stateliness and show-business,
  • the influence of kinesics (paraverbal communication) on intonation, energy and emotional charge.

The question of the validity of the time span was raised. How broad a view makes sense?

All in all, more questions were raised with other related areas of exploration waiting to be discussed, notably identifying sliding speech norms and what these communicate in societies and languages other than British English. How voice is used to create alternate truths and twist semantics to political ends…

Subjects not covered were what effect do communication styles have on us and how do they alter our behaviour, what they say about the societies that encourage and develop certain practices while rejecting and abandoning others… For further information please contact Cherif at


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