In his new book Edmund Morris relates how a lengthy speech served Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt well when he was attacked by a potential assassin in 1912.
When the attacker fired his pistol the bullet was considerably slowed by the former President’s overcoat, suit jacket, a steel-reinforced spectacles case and the thick text of his speech.
With blood oozing from his chest, where the bullet had stopped in his ribs, Roosevelt got going with his speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Declaring that he was as strong as a “Bull Moose” he gave his speech for the next 90 minutes.
History doesn’t record the reaction of his audience, but it must have been an incredible sight. With his speech completed the former President allowed himself to be taken to hospital where he was patched up before making a full recovery.
I wouldn’t recommend such a course of action for any of our speakers unlucky enough to be ever caught in similar circumstances. There again, I wouldn’t recommend that a 90 minute speech should ever be inflicted on a modern audience.
Colonel Roosevelt is the third book in Edmund Morris’s Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy. The first volume won the Pulitzer prize and the second won much critical acclaim. The third volume is a roaring good read which is often not the case with the third book in a trilogy.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+