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How to Give a Speech without Saying Anything

Politicians have it down to a science—giving a rousing speech without actually saying anything. Learn how to double-talk, whether you’re running for office or just need to say a whole lot of nothing.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Keep it vague Pepper your speech with universally appealing sound bites like, 'More money!' 'Less waste!' 'A clean environment!' 'Healthy children!' but don’t paint yourself into a corner by providing details on how you’re going to accomplish this wonderful stuff.
  • Step 2: Hedge your bets Hedge your bets. If you say, 'We need to be aggressive,' temper it later with 'We need to proceed cautiously.' Thus if someone criticizes you for being too aggressive, you can say you underscored the need for caution.
  • TIP: Nod, smile, and point at imaginary friends in the audience, so people will think the room is filled with supporters.
  • Step 3: Hire a speechwriter Hire a professional speechwriter to come up with a catchy phrase on the order of 'Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.' Then the rest of your blather won’t matter.
  • Step 4: Use euphemisms Be liberal with your use of euphemisms. Your district isn’t in crisis; it’s facing a challenge. You’ve never been criticized; you’ve just gotten lots of feedback. And you’ve never been involved in a scandal, you just exercised poor judgment.
  • TIP: Remember, you’re not 'anti' anything—such an ugly word. You are simply 'pro' something else.
  • Step 5: Run down the clock When asked a question, buy time by saying things like, 'That’s an excellent question!' and 'I’m glad someone asked that.' Keep rephrasing your delight and eagerness until people forget what the hell you were supposed to be answering.
  • FACT: George Orwell said political language is 'designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.'

You Will Need

  • Sound bites
  • Euphemisms
  • A professional speechwriter
  • Delaying tactics

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