What’s kind of ironic is that it was a few words that began to make me think I’d been protecting Speechwriter’s Newsletter readers from the plain and obvious need to branch out and learn more than how to construct a good speech.
It was actually two little groups of words. One was a comment on my blog, Shades of Gray. “Diane,” a notoriously grouchy but unfailingly honest corporate communicator, wrote in response to something I’d written about speechwriting:
“I’ve heard a lot of speeches. I don’t remember any of them.”
Something about that started nagging at me. Indulge me, please, as I explain the rapid and recent evolution in my thinking about what speechwriters ought to be doing for a living—and what they’ll be doing in the future.
No room for Bartleby
The week after Diane declared she didn’t remember a single speech she’d ever heard, I was interviewing rhetoric expert Jay Heinrichs for an article and he said flatly, “There is less and less room in society for Bartleby the Scrivener.”