CEOs: Smart speeches are never held against you

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This is the kind of thing that makes CEOs cautious about making bold speeches: Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship caught on video, pooh-poohing safety regulations, several months before 29 of his employees are killed in an explosion.

Here’s the speechwriter’s proper response to the CEO who fears saying anything, on the chance that it will be held against him or her later: “Don’t say anything from a point of view you couldn’t defend even if you were proven absolutely wrong in the end.” Bonus tip: “When you’re saying provocative things, don’t wear a provocative outfit.”

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