All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Does this seem such a truism?
Are great speakers born or made?
Do people think they will be great speakers to begin with?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Why do you think Ralph Waldo Emerson actually wrote this set of words?
Incidentally they come from this passage from “The Conduct of Life” published in 1860.
Practice is nine tenths. A course of mobs is good practice for orators. All the great speakers were bad speakers at first. Stumping it through England for seven years, made Cobden a consummate debater. Stumping it through New England for twice seven, trained Wendell Phillips. The way to learn German, is, to read the same dozen pages over and over a hundred times, till you know every word and particle in them, and can pronounce and repeat them by heart.