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> 7) ...most people do not naturally include enough transition words when speaking informally, which tends to make speeches loose narrative cohesion. Throw in a few more than you would ordinarily think to do.

To expand on this... Spoken English should be treated as a separate dialect from Written English. They don't entirely share the same grammar, they have very different pools of idioms, and their concepts of effective use are almost entirely disjoint. Be aware that this difference exists, and practice your speeches out loud. Good essays generally do not make good presentations, and good presentations are almost universally terrible essays.

In particular, while Written English favors being concise, Spoken English favors explicitness, often to the point of redundancy. While a reader can go back and re-read a complex passage, and unpack it at leisure, during a speech there is no option but to parse it in realtime. Simple sentence structure, explicit large-scale structure markers, and outright redundancy are all markers of good Spoken English that your Written English instructors in school probably beat out of you.




> Good essays generally do not make good presentations, and good presentations are almost universally terrible essays.

Perhaps that's true, but I wonder about the great timeless speeches that also hold there own as essays. The Gettysburg Address, Churchill's speeches, JFK's inaugural address, Colbert or Jobs or D.F. Wallace's commencement speeches, etc.

Were they so good that they worked in both forms?

Or maybe they weren't good as speeches. I wasn't there for any of them.


Just heard Neil DeGrasse Tyson speaking about this; the Gettysburg address was written with a quill pen and inkwell. If you want to write an entire sentence at a time, this technology restricts you to sentences of roughly 6-9 words - very congruent with effective spoken English. NDT uses the same technique when writing his own speeches and lectures.


How does a pen and inkwell restrict your number of words per sentence?


You have to push harder on the paper to make a mark. You must frequently dip the pen in the ink.


A speech is literally the exception to this rule.

Keep in mind that GP's advice isn't aimed towards well-practiced speechwriters and eloquent speechmakers. It's to people who are nervous even about joining Toastmasters.




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