Roger Scott Jackson

Lecturer — New York, NY

Roger Scott Jackson is a lecturer and orator in the classic tradition (but with profanity). A former reporter and editor, he has worked at dozens of jobs, including stints teaching speech, debate, and English. A longtime amateur historian, he combines his passion and skill in a series of lectures on two historic orators of particular interest to present-day atheists: Mark Twain and Robert G. Ingersoll. The following lectures are available for booking:

Extract of Ingersoll

The program begins with the ten minute introduction, “When America’s Most Famous Atheist was a Liberal Republican.” The main event is a fifty minute distillation of eighteen classic Robert G. Ingersoll lectures. An informal audience-driven discussion wraps it up. 75 to 90 minutes.

Robert G. Ingersoll’s Thomas Paine

The program begins with a fifteen minute preamble in which Mr. Jackson provides some insights into the life, times, and philosophy of Robert G. Ingersoll, and how he came to “make a personal project of defending the legacy of Thomas Paine.” The main event, “Ingersoll on Paine,” is a fifty-minute distillation of two lectures, presented in 1870 and 1892, that collectively ran nearly four hours. An informal audience-driven discussion wraps it up. 75 to 90 minutes.

Two Ex-Presbyterians

Though Robert G. Ingersoll and Mark Twain greatly admired each other, and maintained a decades-long friendship, Ingersoll made atheism his personal brand, while Twain, for all his excoriation of religion, avoided any outright declaration of nonbelief. This program considers their relationship to each other and to freethought, past and present. An informal audience-driven discussion wraps it up. 75 to 90 minutes.

NEW FOR 2016: Mr. Jackson’s 90-Minute Course in Basic and Advanced Public Speaking (for Atheists)

Drawing on his time as a speech teacher and debate coach, law school and graduate school (in education), as well as a lifelong study of orators and oratory (and years on the road in the persona of Sam Singleton), Roger Scott Jackson conducts a fast, funny, practical course in winning and holding an audience’s attention. This program is particularly suited for those interested in speaking at conferences. It is equally applicable to beginning and experienced speakers.

Topic(s): Arts & Entertainment, Atheism & Secularism

Sub-topic(s): Comedy, Coming out atheist, History of atheism/secularism