Speeches: As irreplaceable as they are inefficient

Speeches are appropriate for a smaller number of purposes. But for those purposes, speeches are essential.

Is speechwriting still relevant in a Twitter world? Speechwriting blogger Rob Cottingham asked me that as part of an interview on the 2018 Cicero Speechwriting Awards (deadline March 2).

My answer:

"Since the advent of the Gutenberg Press, radio, TV, the Internet, YouTube and now Twitter, speeches have become gradually appropriate for a smaller number of strategic purposes. But for those purposes, speeches as irreplaceable as they are inefficient. Sometimes, you just need to get everyone—your employees, your customers, your constituents—in a room physically and let them sit together, look you in the eye and look one another in the eye all at the same time. Hear the same words at the same time, consider your ideas at the same time, hear the sound of your voice and see the look on your face when you say them, feel the mood in the room, and just be, for once, together. That makes communities communities—and that's what speeches are for. And unless virtual reality technology becomes more magical and chemical and spiritual than I think it will, that’s what speeches will always be for."

You may read the rest of the interview at Cottingham's blog … and if you haven’t had enough of my enthusiastic blathering, listen to my recent podcast interview with Ian Griffin, founder of the Silicon Valley Speechwriters Roundtable. —DM

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