Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day 

Washington was a man of few words. Lincoln could speak at length and did during the Lincoln-Douglas Debates and in the courtroom as a lawyer, but when it counted at Gettysburg, he was economy itself.  We remember his Gettysburg speech.  The lesson has often been lost on speechwriters who fall repeatedly into high-flown rhetoric, cliches and blather rather than getting to the point and getting their executives off the stage.  This failure is often seen in marketing speeches where executives talk about the "leading-edge uniqueness and excellence" of their products or services.  One wishes for a mime.  I did witness one good presentation in recent months during a press conference where a new electronic product was introduced.  The speeches were short and to the point.  The conference was swift, and members of the press were invited to use the product right away.  It turns out that a friend had been behind the conference and had written the speeches.  I congratulated him.  Now if only others could follow his example...


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