Advice from Peggy Noonan:"The most moving thing in a speech is its logic. It's not the flowery words or flourishes, it's not the sentimental exhortations, it's never the faux poetry we're all subjected to these days. It's the logic behind your case. A good case well argued and well said is inherently moving. It shows respect for the brains of the listeners. There is an implicit compliment in it. It shows you're a serious person and understand that you are talking to other serious people.
No speech should last more than 20 minutes. Why? Because Ronald Reagan said so. Reagan used to say that no one wants to sit in an audience in respectful silence for longer than that, if that. He knew 20 minutes was more than enough time to say the biggest, most important thing in the world. The Gettysburg Address went five minutes, the Sermon on the Mount probably the same.
Some communications professionals will tell you there are specific gestures to use when you make a speech, particular ways to move your hands or use your voice. I do not think this counsel helpful. Be yourself in your presentation, because although there have already been Vince Lombardis and Dan Rathers and Jesse Jacksons, there has never been a you before. So you might as well be you and have a good time. Authenticity isn't just half the battle, it's a real achievement."
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Peggy Noonan is the best-selling author of seven books on American politics, history, and culture. Her essays have appeared in Time, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other publications. She lives in New York City.From AudioFile:
"We are media-savvy," Peggy Noonan says in this audio guide to public speaking. She means that we, as a nation, are influenced by television, so many of us know how to behave in front of a camera. But speeches are more difficult than being on TV because audiences expect speakers to be at their best since they've had time to prepare. Noonan addresses with a strong and clear voice why public speaking is America's number one fear and how to combat this fear. Her tones seem best suited to political commentary, and that could put off listeners who need guidance in the corporate or even casual arenas. However, her pauses between major points and transitional thoughts keep the audiobook flowing and easy to understand, making it a useful tool. R.A.P. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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