In a world that prizes form over content, style over substance, I believe that speeches stand or fall because of the ideas they propose and the words that are spoken to bring those ideas to life.
That’s why I titled a chapter from my book, “Content Is King.” (In it I examined three aspects of content: the idea of the speech, the structure of the speech, and the words.)
An idea, by the way, isn’t simply a dry, intellectual exercise. A good idea — a sticky idea, to borrow the term coined by the Heath brothers in Made to Stick – appeals to the whole person: to the mind, the imagination, and the emotions.
And that’s why I like a recent blog by Cynthia Starks, where she writes:
On the world stage, words can win votes, start wars, inspire a generation.
In the business world, they can increase customers, boost sales, guide and motivate employees, influence investors, mark individuals as thought-leaders and companies as pace-setters.
She goes on to write: “In all of the old and new ways in which business executives and organizational leaders are expected to communicate with their various constituencies today, one thing remains constant. Words matter. When the words are right, the message helps you meet your business and marketing goals. When the words are wrong, the message doesn’t matter.”