It's The Position And Principle That Brings An Idea To Life

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Whether you’re trying to brand a new product or service or write a speech that will change the world, there is one universal truth…

It is – and always will be – about the position and principle – that gets an idea to come to life and how it spreads. Steve Paikin of The Agenda with Steve Paikin had this fascinating conversation with Ted Sorensen (John F. Kennedy‘s speechwriter and the person many credit with the infamous line, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country") about what it takes to write a speech that will change the world and change people’s minds.

If you’re interested in Marketing, communications, advertising, messaging, public speaking and getting ideas to spread, spend the next twelve minutes watching this…

Sadly, Sorensen passed away in October of this year.


  1. Spoken word is so powerful. It’s worthy to take time to learn how to write and deliver a good speech.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. The grin (from being “the Kennedy speech writing man”) on Sorenson’s face is still there almost 50 years after JFK’s death, and why wouldn’t it be?
    I believe he was right about the commencement address at American University’s supperiority to “Ask not…..”
    Given the context of the time it was almost perfect.

  3. Substance, principal, value are the essence of a great speech. No wonder why so many CEO speeches sucks.
    Thanks for bringing this excellent video to our attention
    Denis François Gravel

  4. Sorensen states position, substance and principle make the great speeches. It makes sense that advertising and all forms of communication should take heed. When you make a connection due to a principal/position, it will endure over time. Not to mention stickiness and a true following.
    I do enjoy watching the content you provide, thank you.

  5. My one “issue” is that writing a speech and delivering a speech do not go hand-in-hand. A great speech has been killed by poor delivery and an amazing delivery won’t help a poorly written speech.
    I wonder if the world isn’t changing a little? It seems like Sorensen thinks it may be and the days of written speeches being delivered well are few and far between.

  6. I much prefer a good presentation to a written speech… but I’m a different kind of presenter. If someone is going to read a speech, I say, “email it to me and let’s do a good Q&A in person.”

  7. What an amazing man and an inspiring story. It’s great to honor the writer behind the magic. He will be greatly missed! I would love to read his book, especially after having just finished reading The Kennedy Detail by one of JFK’s secret service men, Gerald Blaine. This compelling story takes you inside the Secret Service during President John F. Kennedy’s administra­tion giving you a window into history like you’ve never seen before. I found it to be very eye opening. Everyone should read this book.

  8. Between the Written word and Spoken word, I would think the written goes a longer way and travels further. Years after the Spoken word has dimmed, the Written word lives on and still enlightens minds.

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