Professional communicators often show their value in their disastrous absence—speechwriters, especially. Did you see John Kasich’s warmly delivered but rambling 45-minute presidential announcement Tuesday?
“I watched the speech from beginning to end and I couldn’t tell you what the message is,” Washington Post columnist Chris Cilizza wrote.
Look. I get the appeal of speaking extemporaneously. Especially if you are a Republican running for president after eight years of President Obama—a politician many in the GOP believe got elected largely on his ability to read a speech well on a teleprompter. …
But, there are limits to off-the-cuff-ness in the context of a presidential campaign. You can’t—as it appears Kasich did—just get up and talk. It sounds great in the conference room: “Yeah, he’s just got to be him. He doesn’t need a bunch of talking points! Authenticity!”
It looks much less good in the actual delivery—as Kasich proved today …. There’s a reason speechwriters exist. There’s a reason teleprompters were invented.