Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Never Say Never

There are few absolutes in speaking.

With the right speaker in the right situation - almost anything approach can work.

Watch the beginning of this remarkable speech by John Wooden, (1910-2010), the beloved basketball coach who was the only person to be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame - both as a player and as a coach:

From the Green Room: It is almost always a bad idea to begin a speech with an apology - especially one in which you don't assume responsibility! But clearly, in this case, his apology is a brilliant and endearing way to open his remarks.

The same holds true with any of the basic rules of speaking. In the right time and place - and with the right speaker - any rule can be broken, once in a while. Never say never.


Anonymous said...

A corollary to "Never say Never" is what I'd call the "Ain't Rule." It ain't a problem to say "ain't" as long as you know you're not supposed to. Thus, understanding the basic rules of public speaking is often the prerequisite for violating those rules to good effect.
Great post!!

Sarah Gershman said...

Very well said! Thank you.