"A speech is part theater and part political declaration; it is a personal communication between a leader and his people; it is art, and all art is a paradox, being at once a thing of great power and great delicacy. A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery sweep! A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart."
- Peggy Noonan: What I saw at the Revolution
"His standing instruction and his standard complaint to people preparing speech material for him is : “More matter and less art.'"
- Graham Freudenberg on Gough Whitlam: A Certain Grandeur
"Surveys show that the #1 fear of Americans is public speaking. #2 is death.
Death is #2. That means that at a funeral, the average American would rather
be in the casket than doing the eulogy."
- Jerry Seinfeld
NASA public relations guy: "We’re both writers, heh?"
Presidential speechwriter Sam Waterman: "That’s only if you broaden the definition of writers to people who can spell."
- The West Wing
"At the core a speech is an embrace. A bad speech is a failed attempt at comfort, friendship or seduction and the speechmaker suffers an identical indignity. A good speech is a lover’s embrace, or a brother’s father’s friend’s or mother’s depending on the circumstances."
- Don Watson: Recollections of a Bleeding Heart