Saturday, June 14, 2014

The dark side of public speaking

The Wall Street Journal has a serious and humorous Saturday Essay titled Joe Queenan’s Guide to Public Speaking (How to avoid utterly humiliating yourself in front of a bored and yawning crowd).

Joe points out that:

“Still, most speakers fail because their speeches are no good. They often fall flat because they have a phoned-in quality, because they are stock speeches the speaker has given over and over again. No effort has been made to tailor the material to the audience being addressed, and the audience knows it.”

His example is a story about trying to reuse a speech he’d given to public relations professionals at the national convention of the American Recovery Association (which is the trade group for repo men). It didn’t end well. 

The image was adapted from an 1896 Puck cartoon about William Jennings Bryan found at the Library of Congress.


At Forbes on June 17th Jerry Weissman also discussed Joe Queenan’s article.

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