Short & sweet
A few Sundays ago, I tuned into CBC television to watch the show’Mansbridge…..One on One’with Host Peter Mansbridge. Peter’s guest was Ted Sorenson, speech writer and autobiographer for the late President of The United States John F. Kennedy. He asked his guest what Kennedy usually wanted in a speech. Sorenson’s reply was that Kennedy stated that he wanted his inaugural speech to be the shortest of any President. He further stated that if a speech is too long, people don’t listen….Boy oh boy, he certainly got that right.
Sorenson added, most politicians today are just looking for what he termed”Applause Lines”, whereas Kennedy wanted”Principles and policies, not useless rhetoric”in his speeches. Finally, famed Presidential speech writer Ted Sorenson said that a good speech should be”Clear, direct&specific, and no longer than twenty to twenty five minutes”. My friend, I sincerely hope that you have got today’s most important message which is summed up in today’s title’Short&Sweet’.
There are unfortunately far too many public speakers who it would appear have not yet gotten today’s most important message, thus their talks to people are for the most part extremely boring, to put it mildly. I know some politicians who usually take at least ten minutes to say what could quite easily be said adequately in one minute. There are also a whole lot of Preachers and Ministers of religion who also need to learn today’s lesson so that they can in the future make absolutely sure that all of their addresses to people are indeed’Short&Sweet’, not as is the case in far too many instances,’Long&Boring’.
My friend, I’ve been speaking for a living, both directly and of course over the airwaves on television, radio, and now the internet, for over forty years, and I might add, I’ve been very successful at it. My advice is similar to Ted Sorenson’s, and that is to say what you have to say in as few words as possible. When I worked with Earl Nightingale, I remember that he produced a wonderful sales training program which was available on cassette at the time, which he wrote in conjunction with famed sales trainer Fred Herman, titled’Keep it Simple Salesmen’–‘KISS’for short. Yes indeed, as Shakespeare put it,”Brevity is the soul of wit”.
So, in conclusion, the very next time you have to speak to a group of people, large or small, be sure to make your address’Short&Sweet’and you’ll be successful.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Listen to’Time To Think’the radio program on Star 106.5 FM at 8:55 AM&6:20PM