The Dandelion Group
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Technique of the week

Where and when

Giving a speech on 9/11 might be delicate. Use the date and venue in your favour.

Seasoned speechwriters do it differently. Whereas speakers jump straight to the content, communication professionals start by profiling the audience and researching the event. An excellent example is Barack Obama’s speech on disarmament in front of the statue of Tomas Masaryk in Prague. The symbolism of places and festive dates can destroy but also build careers.

How to make use of timing and the location

  1. Pick a key date and venue endorsing the theme of your speech.
    (e.g. speaking on women’s rights on 8 March at a monastery in Orleans)

  2. If you have been invited to a conference, research the venue and check on Wikipedia what happened on that date in the past.
    (e.g. 8 May)

  3. Make the link between the theme of the speech and the venue or date. It is a strong way to open or conclude your speech.

Exercise

Joshua Wong Chi-fung is a student and democracy activist from Hongkong. Today, he visits Berlin and gives a speech at the Humboldt University. Which date or venue would have been better?

Learn the techniques. Boost your confidence. Make your point.
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Ben Wilhelm