Category Archives: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Power of Speech

Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel

We’re hearing an awful lot of speeches at these political conventions followed by a lot of opinions about the quality of those speeches. So what makes a good one? Ralph Waldo Emerson said the purpose is to persuade.

Just thinking about the spotlight of history you’d be stepping into to make a convention speech would make the most seasoned person nervous. As Jerry Seinfeld points out, most people are nervous about speaking to a much smaller audience:

According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.