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The right messages

Careful consideration should be given to the messages the company wishes to incorporate into speeches. Again, I stress that this does not mean blatantly commercial messages. As an illustration, suppose you work for a chemical company and are filling a speaking invitation in a plant city. An interesting subject might be called something like ''The Chemistry Set in Your Kitchen,'' a discussion of the safe handling of chemicals commonly found in homes. Your speech might include a description of the chemical industry's concerted effort to put public health and safety first on its agenda. The implicit message would be, of course, that your company, as a member of a responsible industry, is acting responsibly in the community.

Some companies have one or more prepared speeches for their speakers to use in the program. I don't recommend this. I feel each speaker should develop his or her own speech and find the right ways to incorporate the company's messages. If a stock speech is used, the speaker ought to tailor it for the occasion, the city, or the organization.


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