Tonight President Bush addresses the nation for the final time.
So, for today’s lead news story on Ragan.com, I asked several speechwriters what makes a good farewell speech. Scribes from the Reagan and Clinton administrations weighed in; Fred Thompson’s former speechwriter and one writer from across the Atlantic also shared their thoughts.
The story is here.
Unfortunately, speechwriter Ian Griffin, who I also contacted for the piece, e-mailed me his advice on farewell addresses after my deadline. It’s a good tip, and I want to share it—deadline or not. Here it is.
“Farewell speeches need to be handled with care and a relentless focus on the needs and interests of the audience. Audience members are already looking to the future and the next office holder –the speaker is looking to the past. The presenter should avoid investing too much emotional baggage in content that will sound self-serving or even maudlin. Review the past; share stories which include and acknowledge others; conclude with a nod to the future and then sit down.”