Speak as I speak, not as you do

There was a lot of talk at last week’s Leadership Communication Days about the role of the speechwriter in mimicking the speaker’s voice. Or is it up to speechwriters to actually improve the speaker’s voice?

American Hospital Association speechwriter Maura Kennedy had a speaker who transformed her lively scripts into droning motors. In reaction to Kennedy’s annoyance, the speaker suggested to the scribe: Why don’t you read the speech as you’d deliver it, and give me a recording.

“She’d listen to that recording over and over” on her commutes, Kennedy said. After absorbing Kennedy’s animated delivery, the speaker began to give speeches with much more intonation.

In short, the speaker mastered the speechwriter’s voice. —DM

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