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Speaking Without Powerpoint Part 2…

Some interesting pointers from Chip Scanlan @ Poytner (ok – couldn’t resist that)… on creating a great speech and more tid-bits on PBS

Lucy Morgan, the Pulitzer Prize winning Tallahassee Bureau Chief for the St. Petersburg Times, divides the speech story assignment into four basic steps:

1. Look for the news. “If the governor or whoever is proposing something new, that’s likely to become the lede … We also look at other content and perhaps how it figures into what the person has done in the past.”

2. Check the facts. “You’d be surprised how many people are wrong about something — sometimes it’s as minor as quoting the Bible when the Bible didn’t say that!”

3. Gauge the response. “Was the audience asleep or really into it? And where possible we ask them what they liked or disliked — sometimes they hear things we didn’t realize were there.”

4. Performance Review. “We also look at delivery — the gimmicks used to attract attention. Many politicians today use a gimmick that was probably pioneered by Reagan — having a person in the audience who is an example of something he’s talking about.”

On 1). This is critical. Look for the headline. And on 3) if you are a speechwriter you should be facing the same direction as the speaker. It’s the only way you will be able to tell what is working and what isn’t. I can’t tell you how many times I see the speechwriter in the audience staring gleefully at the presenter while the audience is, well, snoring…

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