For last week's Weekend Assignment, I asked whether anyone since Martin Luther King Jr had been able to inspire us with a masterful and memorable speech. Unsurprisingly, most (but not all) of the respondents ended up writing about this year's U.S. presidential candidates, while pondering whether speeches have been largely replaced by sound bytes:
Saqib, writing directly in the comments thread, said... "I feel like sitting this one out. But if I were to add my two cents I would have to agree with you in that I found Obama's speech inspiring. I found solace in his words as he touched upon an important issue in American society.
Oratory as an art form can't die down. Humans need regular doses of inspiration just to keep hope alive. Most of the time I am recieving the dose as my shy nature has hampered my public speaking career!"
Mike analyzes the public speaking styles of the three major candidates.
Duane ponders the negative effects of speechwriters and focus groups.
Carly gives props to Chelsea Clinton for grace under pressure.
Florinda points to great speechwriters... like Aaron Sorkin.
Sarah, who has given speeches about turning off cell phones, checks out a recent speech on YouTube.
Kristi Wachter appreciates an Obama speech on habeas corpus.
Kiva writes about an uplifting "Last Lecture" by a dying professor.
Interesting stuff, folks, thanks.
Next Weekend Assignment follows shortly.