Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> 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.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact