Making words count
Gov. Mary Fallin’s latest State of the State speech ran 4,750 words and took 50 minutes to deliver, including applause. In comparison, President Barack Obama’s second inaugural speech was 2,095 words.
Obviously, we found far more to like in Fallin’s speech than Obama’s, but would note that brevity and clarity are virtues in public speaking.
President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is around 250 words. The Declaration of Independence is roughly 1,300. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech is about 1,650 words. Even Winston Churchill’s stirring “we shall fight on the beaches” speech in 1940 was shorter than Fallin’s — approximately 3,950 words.
Audience members can hear the best speeches just once and quote specific lines by memory, while other speeches are remembered not for what was said, but for the feeling of audience relief when they finally concluded.
Strunk & White’s famous composition advice also applies to speeches: Omit needless words.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 17441Oklahoma storms: Profile of Life: Megan and Case Futrell
- 13900OKC Central: Architectural "Worsts"
- 11725'Firehouse' in Oklahoma City's Deep Deuce is set to become new home
- 11253Norman man threatens Oklahoma Gov. Fallin's 'child' and local sheriff in emails
- 8882Was Special Treatment Given in Oklahoma Vice Mayor DUI Traffic Stop?
- 7879Police shoot, kill man holding child hostage in Midwest City
- 7323Live blog: "The Voice" Season 4 live finale
- 7059Brad Lund granted two-year lease to Taft Stadium for soccer team
- 7006Red meat might be delicious, but not as nutritious
- 6837Live blog: "The Voice" Season 4 live finale - performance episode
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients