Public speaking in the digital age can be unforgiving.
That’s all the more reason for speechwriters and speakers to take lessons from the worst, as well as the best.
Whether you are a speaker, a speechwriter or both, bear in mind these cautionary tales and the lessons you can learn from them:
1. Rick Perry’s Republican primary debate flub
Former Gov. Rick Perry famously promised to eliminate three government agencies, two of which he managed to remember. The moment went down in public-speaking lore. If it’s any silver lining for Perry, he’s now heads the Department of Energy, the one he forgot he wanted to eliminate.
Speakers: Always have a backup plan. The former governor would have benefitted from some notes.
Writers: When you introduce a list, you’re committing your speaker to remembering it. While three bullets shouldn’t be a handful, finding other ways to deliver your point could keep a forgetful speaker out of a bind.