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Best for speakers to write their own speeches

I agree with editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang that using plain language helps speakers to connect with their intended audience (Ministers, please speak plainly to the people; June 3).

Verbosity dazzles but baffles.

Plain language is the best means for conveying ideas, thoughts and arguments without the risk of ambiguity, misunderstanding, misinterpretation and abstractness.

Important elements which enable a speaker to relate to and empathise with the audience include a good understanding of the issues at hand, the right body language, a sense of conviction, comfort with the content of the speech, and effective delivery.

These are difficult to achieve when the speech is written by a scriptwriter, chosen for his good command of the English language and formidable vocabulary. It is, at best, an academic exercise.

Nothing beats having the speaker write his own speech. He will be able to articulate his ideas from the heart, rendering it personal, passionate and convincing, so as to enlighten and sustain hearts.

Merely reading a ghost-written script may not achieve these.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 10, 2018, with the headline 'Best for speakers to write their own speeches'. Print Edition | Subscribe