February 12, 2013
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Peggy Noonan discusses speech-writing in this piece on her Wall Street Journal Blog.
She discusses the hollow nature of many political speeches in the present era, saying:
“If you try to write ‘good lines’ you’ll likely wind up with strings of dumb, unconnected applause lines. The audience will probably applaud—crowds of supporters are dutiful that way, and people want to be polite—but they’ll know they’re applauding an applause line, not a thought, and they’ll know they’re enacting enthusiasm, not feeling it.”
She has some great thoughts. Read the article here.
May 24, 2011
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Sometimes I act like I’m my own favorite speaker, and I’ll bet you too may have this before (especially if you’re an extrovert like me).
A big part of my job involves interacting with people from my community, and one thing I do a lot is listen to what they have to say. Talking comes easy for me – listening, not so much. Even though I’ve had training to be an effective listener, it still can be hard.
The other day at work, a lady was talking with me, but I found it hard to be a good listener. You see, I kept wanting to interrupt and give my opinion while she was talking. Not only would this have been impolite, but I realized that (honestly) the things I wanted to say weren’t really that important anyway. It was more important for me to listen to her than to talk.
Reflecting on this and other similar situations, I realized that sometimes I talk as though I’m my own favorite speaker. Maybe you can relate. Sometimes we can talk just to fill the silence or maybe to hear the sound of our own voice. Nobody wants to be characterized that way: “they love the sound of their own voice.” What’s worse, nobody wants to listen to these “super talkers” – trust me, I’ve been around a few. It leaves me praying, “please God don’t let me be like that.”
Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” Wise people listen, but fools only talk. I don’t know about you, but I want to be wise. There’s also the matter of pride. The proud person believes that what they have to say really matters, but nothing you have to say could be important.
Have you ever been around someone who talks and never listens?
Have you ever been that kind of talker?
What did you learn from that situation?