21 Oct 2008
Anyone who knows me, will know how much I love a great speech.
None more so than Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. (And yes, I really do own a copy of Lincoln’s speeches; it sits on my bookshelf next to Bart Simpson’s Guide To Life.)
On November 19th 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Edward Barrett gave a two hour speech which absolutely no-one remembers. President Lincoln stood up, spoke for 2 minutes, used 269 words, and delivered one of the most memorable speeches in American history.
So, if you’re making any sort of speech, announcement, or PowerPoint presentation: keep it short. And then make it a bit shorter. And a bit shorter still. Because if you can convey meaning and emotion in as few words as possible – your audience will love you for it.
And they may even remember what you said.