If speechwriters had their own lobbying organization …

… it would publicly confront misguided nitwits who eschew notes in order to “speak from the heart” (see Curtis Martin). And then it would forgive them, for they know not what they do.

As for its powers of official censure—it would it reserve those for so-called rhetoric experts who glorify speakers who like to “wing it.”

Emad Abdel Latif, for instance.

The professor at Cairo University was quoted in an NPR story this week about how Egypt’s new president Mohammed Morsi is a more effective speaker than his predecessor, the ousted Hosni Mubarak. Morsi demonstrates that he cares about ordinary Egyptians, Abdel Latif says, because he speaks to them frequently, and spontaneously.

“He explains that Mubarak generally read a prepared speech, while Morsi has a tendency to improvise,” NPR said.

For even implying that impromptu public speaking is a sign of devotion to an audience, Abdel Latif would never work in this town again. —DM

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