Perhaps the most important aspect of writing a speech is crafting a clear message. The goal of a speech isn’t to impress people with how well you can write — it’s to get across the point you are trying to make. But what is the key message? Frequently there are several. Which one do you really want to focus attention on? Which message do you want to build the most quotable soundbite around; which point do you want to build up to, and build the speech around? Read
Sometimes it’s not what you say, but who says it that matters.
At least that was the case in 1957 – two weeks after the Little Rock Nine were barred from Central High School – when Louis Armstrong gave one of his most notable performances. But this wasn’t a musical riff.
According to a recent interview on National Public Radio, Larry Lubenow, a journalism student working at The Grand Forks Herald in Little Rock, AK, was sent to interview Armstrong about a concert. Instead he got an (obscene) earful about politics and race relations that ultimately caught the attention of President Eisenhower. Read
EconTalk (at www.econtalk.org) is among the most popular and respected podcasts on the web. Voted Best Podcast in the 2008 Weblog Awards, it is hosted by Russ Roberts, Professor of Economics and the J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Distinguished Scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Posted weekly, the program usually features Roberts interviewing a distinguished economic thinker. On February 8th, Roberts broke from this format to discuss his own thinking about why trade is good. Drawing on Adam Smith and David Ricardo, 18th and 19th century respectively giants of economic thought, he explored how trade increases personal productivity by a factor of a hundred and more. As he summed up, “Self-sufficiency [in a person, a tribe, or a country] equals poverty.” Read