Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Talking, speaking, speeches

Regular readers will know that I have a long-time fascination (here, here, here and here) with the ancient form of public communications known as speeches.

Speeches are not about just talking aloud or reading from a news release or yelling in front of a crowd. A true speech is a dialogue between the speaker and the audience with a form and structure which leads the audience emotionally and intellectually to new places. A great speech energizes, soars and provokes thought and feelings which were previously latent; a bad speech is discordant, dull, predictable.

There's a misconception, in my opinion now laid to rest by the rise of Obama, that we are past the age of speeches and that they are no longer relevant or useful. Of course they are relevant and useful. The real issue is whether the current crop of political leaders have the chops to deliver speeches are relevant and useful.

Jeffery Simpson believes that the current Prime Minister does not have the chops. I agree.

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