Archive for July 2011

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July 9 // The Perils and Pitfalls of Executive Speechmaking

The Perils and Pitfalls of Executive Speechmaking

What’s more important in an effective speech – content or presentation? A healthy mix of both, obviously. So how do communicators charged with helping produce effective speeches find the right balance? And how does the speechwriter – and presenter – avoid falling into the writing-by-committee trap that homogenizes content into meaningless much and fosters rampant inconsistencies in presentation?

The key, it seems, if finding the “voice” of the presenter – the tone, manner and verbal communication style that allows the presenter to speak in a relaxed, personal manner about the subject at hand. Confidence begets credibility. Facts, when presented credibly, become understanding.

The single most common complaint heard by an executive speechwriter: “Don’t tell me what to say. Help me say what I think.” The highest praise a speechwriter can gain is the simple comment: “This sounds just like me.”

For an indication of just how frustrating speechwriting can be when these simple precepts are ignored, take a look at “The Gettysburg Experience.”