Trends in speaking and rhetoric? I haven’t noticed any

During the Q&A after my speechwriting “jam session” last week at the New York Speechwriters Roundtable, doyenne Dana Rubin asked me what the biggest trends in speaking and speeches are.

As editor of Vital Speeches of the Day, you’d think I’d know. But I scratched my head, mumbled something about how U.S. speeches are too damn long (I know; some trend!) and quickly moved on to the next question.

The truth is, speech rhetoric is a pretty constant phenomenon, and trends, for me, are hard to identify. But perhaps I’m too close to the thing.

Speechwriters, you’re used to putting your own good ideas into other people’s heads. Next time somebody asks me about speech trends, what should I say?

—DM

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