What Bill Clinton Wrote and What Bill Clinton Said

As the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions fade into memory, I was fortunate enough to come across an excellent piece of work in The Atlantic Wire by freelance writer Dashiell Bennett that I had to share.

For me, the rhetorical highlight of both conventions was Bill Clinton’s speech. Love him or hate him, Clinton is a masterful speaker. I knew that on the evening of his speech, he ad-libbed a lot; however, I did not realize how much until now.

Prior to Clinton’s speech, journalists received the text of what he was (supposedly) going to say. Bennett has taken the written text and compared it with what Clinton actually said. The result can be seen by clicking on the image of the marked up transcript excerpt below.

It is a bit of a read, but even if you only skim it, you can see from the highlighting the amount of on-the-spot cutting and improvising that Clinton did. Remarkable, and the mark of a brilliant speaker. (Green represents what was added and pink represents what was removed.)


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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2 Responses to What Bill Clinton Wrote and What Bill Clinton Said

  1. Claire Duffy says:

    I think this is a wonderful resource – incredibly useful for coaches and speakers alike. More here if you’re interested: http://wp.me/p2k3hy-wX

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