It’s hard for me to write about public speaking in the age of Donald Trump, as if speeches matter.
I believe that the two most important elements of a speech are 1) the speaker’s goodwill and integrity, and 2) a message that is supported by evidence and reasoning, that is wise and beneficial to the audience.
And yet Trump’s rhetoric—lacking in both of these elements—has proven successful.
It seems revolutionary these days to suggest that leaders, in preparing and delivering a speech, should be concerned about—passionately committed to—speaking the truth.
Because the truth is rarely plain and never simple, speaking the truth requires thoughtfulness and discrimination.