It’s 2012 – an election year and fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, we’ll be hearing lots of political rhetoric. Those of us who go to political rallies or watch C-Span or are diligent enough to go to YouTube will be able to witness full-blown candidate speeches.
My New Year’s wish for all of us is that we get to hear speeches of real substance. I’d like to hear the presidential candidates seriously discuss the issues we face – like unemployment, gridlock in Washington, the economic crisis, North Korea and Iran, and other important matters.
But we all know that is not likely to happen. We’ll get mostly platitudes and vagaries. The candidates will reiterate the same talking points over and over and we’ll get snippets of what they say on the evening news or on Morning Joe.
For those of us interested in the spoken word and how it is expressed in the upcoming election year, there’s a new blog by Howie Beigelman, former speechwriter for New York Gov. George Pataki. It’s worth checking out.
As we move into conference season…
…and really, when is it not conference and convention season? But if you’re going to a conference and you’ve been asked to either moderate or participate in a panel discussion, take heed. Failing to prepare is not an option.
Peter Evans, a corporate speaker with extensive experience as a conference producer, has some excellent pointers on how to do a good job on a panel.
For a contrarian’s point of view, check out what Fred Wilson, a New York City venture capitalist says about panel discussions. He thinks they are boring and prefers either making a short speech with Q&A or doing a one-on-one interview on stage. Personally, I like his suggestions. What do you think?
Have you got your elevator speech?
Don’t get caught off-guard when someone asks you to make an impromptu speech. Have your elevator speech – who you are and where you’re going — in mind at all times. And when you go to a public event, collect your thoughts in advance in case you are called upon to speak unexpectedly.
Ethan Rotman, a speaking coach and trainer, is an expert on giving pop speeches. He has some valuable tips.