Saturday, August 16, 2014


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When I was in college, someone told me that if I wanted to be ahead of the game, become a leader I should learn to take up Public Speaking. In other words, give a speech that would hold people in their seats.

And so the first speech I ever gave was for my final in that class called Public Speaking, and from there, I seemed to find myself in that situation from time to time giving speeches. Now I know that when I give a speech, I like to have fun, make a joke about someone or myself and get to the point. I try never to speak too long and leave them with a tear or two if possible. I once had a daycare worker come up to me once after I had given a speech as President thanking the staff at my agency’s Staff Appreciation Day and tell me how moved to tears she was from what I said. I think she was moved that I finally shut up.

I have spoken in business meetings, and as a volunteer as President in front of large groups, I like to speak publicly. I’ve given eulogies, toasts, and commentary to large groups and may still be doing that even after I am done writing this.

However, I hate to hear speeches, never enjoy them unless the speaker is accomplished, people like Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and Winston Churchill, held my attention, as did FDR from what I read and JFK.

I notice that when people speak who don’t normally do this kind of thing, they seem to rely on the same patterns as everyone else, they read their speech picking out the phrasing of others, using them over and over again! It seems like they bought a shell and just added the words. It seems to go like this:

“Thank you. I would like to thank (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank) for the fine work you do. I don’t know where we would be without your contributions (fill in the blank)

The timeless contributions to society to make life better for (fill in the blank), have had a timely effect on things, and have done so in a deeply profound way.” At his point a little Churcillian may go a long way here. (fill in the blank) “has/have done so much for so long for so many.”

If you can remember these key phrases, you are a speechmaker and ready to go on the circuit, you may get a gentle applause and I hope no one throws a shoe at you. But remember this, don’t be afraid to speak, don’t dread it, it is a chance for people to see you in another light, one a little brighter that you are so willing to make a damned fool of yourself, just like me.



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