Words are human expressions for communicating, either written or spoken. It is believed that the use of words dates back to creation. It is also believed that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”- Holy Bible. Speeches commenced long before letters. Many religions believe that the universe and its content were made by pronouncements.
The use of sound in the conveyance of messages started with gunshot, drumming, bell ringing, gong playing etc. It is believed that human voice was the first sound. Humans speak to communicate and express themselves. The act of writing was as a result of the production of letters or other marks, which itself are a result of the advancement in art. Words are penciled for easy recordings and transmissions. This started with letter writing and note taking on scrolls.
We tend to think that things that are written down are somehow more true than things we are told. Capturing the essence of a note involves incorporating the rhythm, tone, pacing, and voice of the characters. Letters cannot overtly convey the depth of an expression, the strength of oratory and vocal attention cannot be undermined. The pen cannot overpower the might of the voice.
If your friend was attacked, would you rather read about it, hear about it, or have your friend discuss it? When we are face-to-face we can use gestures, facial expressions and changes in our voice to make our meaning clearer. Our listeners can ask questions and we can have a chance to clear up any misunderstandings.
The power of voice in social circles cannot be underestimated; it takes a voice to be heard. In reading circles, authors are invited to read their works to the people for better understanding. Speeches are now on audio/audiovisual records to preserve its natural flavors. Advocates and activists now maximize the use of voice because of its potency. When words are spoken, emotions are clearly expressed.
Speeches are a powerful weapon. Speeches have the power to evoke any form of emotion. Speeches have the power to inspire people and change the course of history. Speeches are usually delivered in the language of the people in the audience. Speeches can be set to music. The audience can remember the chorus and join in with the music. Sometimes melody can be added. A great speech is usually masterfully constructed. Great oratory always seeks to persuade the audience of some fact or idea. The very best speeches change hearts and minds and seem as revelatory several decades or centuries after. William Wilberforce’s “Abolition Speech” on May 12, 1789 at House of Commons, London; Theodore Roosevelt’s “Duties of American Citizenship” on January 26, 1883 in Buffalo, New York; Mahatma Gandhi’s “Quit India” on August 8, 1942 in India; Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” on August 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C.; are great speeches which cannot be forgotten because of their historical relevance and monumental significance.
Words of challenge, healing, hope, joy, meaning and wisdom are our gifts to the hearts of those around us and they can be expressed better when voiced. Verbal expression gives better understanding, deeper meaning and desired expectations. “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.” – Maya Angelou.