Saturday, January 17, 2009

fun for speakers: Obama speech generator

While we await Barack Obama's inaugural speech--arguably the most important of his career and certainly an historic moment--have some fun with this Inauguration Speech Generator from atom.com. You fill in a variety of verbs, adjectives and nouns, Mad-lib style, and get a short speech. (Clearly, if one of your speeches results in this formulaic approach, you need to revamp it!) The speech generator may be a comical part of a larger trend noted by Peggy Noonan, a great presidential speechwriter, who says in this week's column:
Everyone wants to be part of it. Mr. Obama's aides and speechwriters have been engulfed with ideas, thoughts and language, as they say, for the speech. An acquaintance of speechwriter Favreau got in a cab, chatted with the driver, and mentioned he knew someone in the new administration. The cabdriver handed him a fully written inaugural address, and asked him to pass it on....the cabdriver, who works a shift, is up at night writing his inaugural address for Mr. Obama, knowing, this being America, the most fluid country in history, a place of unforeseen magic, that he would meet someone who knows someone. We all want to be together, to work together, we all want to be part of the history, of the time. And why not? Join in. Lightning strikes.
Have some fun with this one, and no matter what your party is, pay attention to the speech--it's a golden opportunity to learn from an excellent orator. (Photo of the rehearsal of the Obama inaugural ceremony.)