Matt Damon Can Act. But Can He Speak?

Matt Damon is a good actor but is he a good public speaker? Every year while watching the Academy Awards, I'm amazed at the poor quality of the acceptance speeches.  It would seem that a professional actor would be a good speaker. The major public speaking flaw of these acceptance speeches is they go on too long and the actors ramble. So after reading Matt Damon's speech to the teachers' rally in Washington, D.C. I would give him high marks on a simple, to the point, and brief presentation.  What lessons can we learn? He begins by complimenting the audience and gets right to the point. He talks about how he flew from Vancouver to demonstrate it was important for him to be there. This creates rapport with the audience. He establishes his credibility when he speaks  about his mother being a teacher, his experience as a student and the impact of his teachers on his success today.  He addresses the current issues of teaching to achieve test scores vs " encouraging creativity and original ideas; knowing who students are,  seeing their strengths and helping them realize their talents". Mr. Damon ends by acknowledging teachers for their impact even in the face of criticism and unproductive reforms.  He begins his speech on a  high note and he ends on a high.  He challenges the audience during times of negative media to remember that there are millions who stand behind them.  He followed Franklin D. Roosevelt's  sage public speaking advice, "Be sincere, be brief and be seated."

To read his speech click here.