2017 READING CHALLENGE
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No speech should last more than 20 minutes. Why? Because Ronald Reagan said so. Reagan used to say that no one wants to sit in an audience in respectful silence for longer than that, if that. He knew 20 minutes was more than enough time to say the biggest, most important thing in the world. The Gettysburg Address went five minutes, the Sermon on the Mount probably the same.
Some communications professionals will tell you there are specific gestures to use when you make a speech, particular ways to move your hands or use your voice. I do not think this counsel helpful. Be yourself in your presentation, because although there have already been Vince Lombardis and Dan Rathers and Jesse Jacksons, there has never been a you before. So you might as well be you and have a good time. Authenticity isn't just half the battle, it's a real achievement."
"When the subject is speechwriting, the first name on every... list is Peggy Noonan's... She is a very good speechwriter, perhaps the most accomplished in the country." --Hendrick Hertzberg, The New Yorker
"Ms. Noonan, who is perhaps the nation's best-known speechwriter... has produced an engaging, helpful book." --David Shiflett The Wall Street Journal
"Peggy Noonan packs a wallop of practical wisdom and insightful tips for rookie and veteran speechmakers alike... this wee volume, written by one of this century's premier presidential speechwriters, will guide you correctly." --Forbes
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