Dear Snow-bound MACC-sters,
As you put the finishing touches on your speeches (I know that is what you all are doing right now; of course no one is out sledding or snowball fighting or winter wonderland walking; and of course no one is just sitting there playing video games or scrolling through their Instagram feed…), a few things to keep in mind.
This is not an exercise is seeing who is the best speech writer or who is the best public speaker; it is an exercise in communication. As a reminder, here were the thoughts you generated about communication after watching some political speeches and those TED Talks by kids:
I also want to cast your minds back to 5000 years ago when we did our first exercises in descriptive writing. Remember that time when you each received a laurel leaf that looked like every other laurel leaf, and you had two minutes to study it and then find it again when they were all collected and mixed up?
And then you sat and wrote about your leaf for what seemed like an eternity, and then we mixed up the leaves and the comp books and people had to match the leaf to the writing, just through the power and precision of your description?
And then you wrote what you considered was your best sentence on the board?
And then, just when you thought you were done with having to do the seemingly impossible, you were asked to do it all over again, this time with sunflowers?
And then (what’s with all the “And” sentence onsets? Who does this guy think he is, Philip Pullman?? Yeesh…), while you sent your Seeker to find the sunflower that another pod had written about, everyone else made the checklist of descriptive details, so that you could be extra sure you had chosen the right one?
And then you did the whole “writing your best sentence on the board” thing again?
Well, if you’ve forgotten, let this post serve as your external hard drive.
One thing I was impressed with, looking back, was the change from your leaf sentences, which were mostly factual, to your sunflower sentences, which were more figurative. I wonder if there is room for a nice metaphor or simile in your speech, if you are taking time today for a Final Artist Moment…
But the main point of this post is to remind you to take your own advice regarding effective communication: don’t yell, don’t wear too much make-up, and whatever you do, please don’t yodel (unless it’s for effect); but do vary your word choice and your sentence lengths (for effect, not just randomly!), don’t be afraid to be personal, and remember that double-box around “relatable.”
Your speech is your gift to us. Sharing it is an act of generosity. We are excited to hear what you have to say.
Red leather, yellow leather. And three points in the Interconnectivity Contest for each person who comes in with a sentence containing a good metaphor or simile for snow (or Snow Day!).