Archive for the ‘Speeches I have written’ Category

Speech Writers and Speakers: A Speaker’s Comfort Zone   Leave a comment

There are numerous ways to get speakers comfortable with working with manuscripts. The first would be to have them face the fact that everyone has fears of public speaking, for instance butterflies in their stomach, sweaty palms, etc., and as Helen Keller commented, “It’s OK to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation.”[1] Communication apprehension affects many people as Richmond and McCroskey (1992) reported, “95% of Americans surveyed said they had some degree of anxiety about communication.” (Wood, 2009, 406). If you think about it this may actually enhance one’s ability to give a speech as the adrenaline is pumping and therefore making the individual more focused and alert creating a sense of energy. Visualization may also help the speaker become more comfortable beginning with a few people they know and gradually adding people in a crowd. There is an old cliché that stated, “Just think of the crowd naked” which should help ease one’s tension and stress.

            In my opinion,  a manuscript is written for a speaker so he/she may read it read word for word and it is also meant to guide them so certain words and key phrases of importance will not be forgotten. As Wood (2009) stated, “Official declarations, diplomatic agreements, and formal press statements are examples of contexts in which manuscript speaking may be advisable” (p. 416). The drawbacks are the potential to lose their place and it makes it difficult for them to have eye contact with the audience.

           The speaker should become knowledgeable of his/her audience. This will in turn create a sense of confidence regarding what the speaker knows of the listeners for instance, what the subject means to them and why they are there in the first place. Perelman & Olbrechts-Tyteca (2008) described an audience in terms of their social concerns, “Among the sociological considerations of possible use to an orator are those bearing on a very definite matter: the social functions exercised by his listeners (p.21).

            As a speech writer one might create an outline with specific information beginning with an introduction and a preview of the main points to be touched upon. This would be followed by the main points incorporating sources, statistical materials and signposts such as, certain words and repetition. The next phase would be a point of transition leading to a summary or a conclusion that would be written as a synopsis of the points given with an ending of a memorable comment, quote or statement.

            Also, suggest that the speaker read the manuscript and practice it a couple of times standing up to get familiar with its contents while also preparing their tone, body language, posture, facial expressions, timing and where to pause when necessary. The speaker’s appearance should match the listener’s to create a common ground creating another level of comfort.

            In utilizing the manuscript style of speaking different elements must first come into play for instance, the researching, preparing, organizing, outlining, writing in full text and practicing is completed prior to memorizing a speech (para 416). Although, memorizing may seem like a good idea there are disadvantages for example, forgetting a crucial message that needed to be brought to the audience’s attention, the loss of spontaneity and the not so positive affect of the delivery of their speech.


Perelman, C. & Olbrechts-Tyteca, L. (2008). The new rhetoric: a treatise on argumentation. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

Wood, J. T. (2009). Communication in our lives. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning. Retrieved February 8, 2011, from            working+with+manuscripts&source=bl&ots=BpWD22-BAh&sig=rwh1gjrRdtFqjOiRZF0ggEiKtIY&hl=en&ei=fdpRTfCSFsK_tgeO-            byfCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false




Follow your heart ~Commencement Speech for the Class of 2011~Empire State College   Leave a comment

I wrote this speech for a class.

 Follow your heart

Commencement Speech for the Class of 2011

Empire State College

March 29, 2011

Speaker: Danelle Wolfe

Thank you for inviting me to this glorious occasion. Graduates, proud parents, esteemed faculty, friends and family I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from the best university in the world.


Look at you.

You made it.

Congratulations! (Pause) (Clap Hands)

You have PROVEN yourselves as students who searched for knowledge.

And today we celebrate that hunger and drive.   

As I look out on this crowd,

it is both humbling and inspiring.

I see the future before me in your eyes. (Point to audience)

You are one step closer to your dreams,

to your career moves

and new lives.

Today really is the FIRST day of the REST of your life.


I too am a graduate of Empire State College as was my mother.

That is,

the one person who was and always will be very dear to me,

my mother,

who passed away.

My mom taught me the value of love, (Slow down)


goals and a good education.

Growing up my mother did not push me

for the “good” grades. (Quote using gesture)

I took it upon myself to strive for A’s.

I WATCHED my mother,

a single parent,

holding down a job while going to school in the evenings

pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work from where else? (Pause)

Empire State College.

You guessed it.

Her struggles and courage inspired me to follow my dreams.

One of the happiest days I spent was on mom’s graduation day.

When they called Sheila Jobe,

I had a great sense of pride.

Chills ran down my arms.

Her PERSEVERENCE had paid off,

she did not give up.

Just as you look around at your fellow classmates

who did not give up. (Pause)

I am not sure what the time frame was for you beginning

your studies at Empire and ending with today’s

graduation ceremony.

Each of you will be different I know this to be true.  

It took me TWELVE years to receive

my first Bachelor’s degree.

I am going for a second presently.

The years were filled with taking courses and dropping courses

to be a primary care taker for my ill mother.

It seemed like I dropped more courses

than I was taking.


FINALLY I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

It was brilliant and blinding

as I basked in the glory of graduation.

I know my mom would have been proud.

I am a distance learning student

and I missed the opportunity to join my commencement. 

To have a speaker praise me

for the hard work, dedication, sweat and tears.

To say, ok now go out there and kick some butt!  (Point up)

Today, I am your speaker.

And I am here to give you some advice. (Speed up)

First, Life is not fair.

Who ever said life was fair?

I am still searching for that person.

If you are out there,

my e-mail address

is on the commencement handouts. (Look around)

No matter what people tell you it can go either way.

Lessons to be learned in this life.

There are many lessons to be learned in life.  

Which one will you choose?

Which path will you take?

Life is what you make of it.

Is it a bowl of cherries or do you see the pits?

I still hear my mother’s voice as she taught these truths

and instilled all of this wisdom into me.

Second, as you weave in

and out of situations,

meet forks in the crossroads of life

and dead ends

remember this, follow your heart. 

Three simple words that mean so much.

You have already followed your by heart by

reading all the required course assignments

and writing papers.

For some it meant staying up past midnight

only to get up at six to get ready for work

or feed the family. 


it goes much deeper than that.

Following your heart means

being in pursuit of happiness.

Now is the time to be truthful with yourself.

Asking the philosophical questions

Where does my happiness lie?

Who am I?

Where am I going?

How will I get there?

I encourage you to take an eagle’s eye view.

 You have already begun

the foundation of your dreams.

The time is here and now

and you are in control of your destiny. 

Socrates believed that there were different kinds of



and trivial.

But, the most important of all

was the knowledge of how best to live.

I wish for you the class of 2011

to never stop searching for knowledge

and to Follow your dreams, Follow your Hopes and Desires, Follow your Heart.  

Now go out there and kick some butt!  (Point towards audience)

Thank you all very much. (Throw cap into air)

Mom’s Eulogy: You will be forever missed…   1 comment

While in my speechwriting class, I was asked to write a eulogy. I loved the description it went something like: You can write a eulogy for a dead person, an alive person, on yourself, but, no animals. Anyway, I chose my mother. I never had to chance to speak these words from my heart.

For those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I’m Tracy Danelle, Sheila’s only child. Or as mom would tell the world, “I did it once and I did it right.” It is a dark day for many as it is for me. I have spent four, soul searching days trying to find the words, to write them, while finding the courage to speak them on this day. I have my eulogoly in hand, but these words come from my heart.

Today we should not shed tears. Today we should not use a box of kleenex. Today we are here to celebrate and reflect on life. A life that has been very dear to me, my mother’s life. She would not wanto us to cry her a river, but to learn how to sail on it.

My mother’s essence was filled with an abundance of love, courage and humanity. Sheila’s heart was of a saint as she applied herself to helping others. Those who were close to my mom could feel the radiance of love and dedication deep within her soul. It encircled her clients, friends and family.

I can recall a statement she made that went something like, “I have always been a dedicated supporter of anti-poverty programs. Whether paid or not, change must come, to serve community needs.” Mom began the first runaway shelter in Pennsylvania, Sanctuary House, implemented life skills programs for youths and job training projects. As a mother, social worker, journalist, photographer, counselor, poet, grants writer, as well as working with ex-offenders, street gangs, and delinquents, Sheila has enriched many lives.

Sheila Ann Jobe was born in Wisconsin in 1944 and was raised in an elite environment of the rich and famous.

When she was 17 and a recent graduate from high school her parents arranged for her to be married. Mom married a Navy man who had a woman in every port. Nine months later I was born. We traveled from state to state never staying more than six months to a year. When the pressure became too much, mom and dad divorced in 1968. I was four years old. It was then she became the black sheep of the family. Sheila had been disowned by the only family she knew. We traveled from state to state as mom tried to support us. It was through her trials and tribulations that she found the courage to persevere. All that she knew was that motherhood had not been anything like the stories told to her. As time went on it was the holidays that she missed and cherished most with her family.

(Mom: bottom left)

With all of her family and money gone, she found herself a single parent. She was working two jobs as a manager at local bars in California. We were surrounded not only by straight people but, gays, lesbians, and I can’t forget those drag queens.

And that is where I leaned about diversity and acceptance. To accept people for who they are not what they are.

My mother always followed her heart. Married once, to my father, twice, second husband and thrice. In 1973 mom married a woman with five children. It was a gay Rabbi in New York City who pronounced them wife and wife. It was a moment that warmed my heart as I watched love blossom before my eyes. We laughed then we cried during the ceremony. The marriage only lasted two years, but the memories of my mother’s happiness lasted a lifetime. Sheila finally found her true self.

She was a social worker for 20 years and loved by all of her clients. Everyone called her, “Mom.” Sheila had worked for different agencies and even in Ryker’s Island, New York City’s jail facility counseling inmates. Sheila worked with street gangs in Harlem, New York. You could say mom was in the middle of the stereotypical members who would kill for $10 bucks and the bloody massacres of street gang wars. These kids would do anything to survive and I do mean anything. Not only was mom able to help those disadvantaged youths who wanted to better themselves but, also gave love to each and every one that crossed her path. She guided them to a better place, a safer place, a place of hope.

One moment in time enhanced our lives forever when she was employed at Woodycrest, a home for neglected children, homeless children. It was there that she befriended a young African American boy about to turn 18. He had been sent there for juvenile protection. It was a cold place, but at least he had a roof over his head and food to eat. It was state mandated that once reaching the legal age that the child now adult be given $50.00 and told to go and face the world, on his own, alone.

I was 13 years old and we lived in upstate New York in the Hudson County Valley area when my mother came home with the news. “I have been counseling a young man who was going to be placed out into the cruel world without any help. I wanted you to know that there will always be people in need, but if I could help just one of them…” she said. My mother had a heart of a saint. Sheila opened up our home to a lost soul. It wasn’t soon after he moved in that I realized I had found the brother I never had.

Sheila’s heart shinned through during the holidays. Holidays meant a lot to my mother especially Thanksgiving. We would cook all day and then go out into the night. Driving through Greenpoint, Brooklyn looking for homeless people on the streets. We invited them home for dinner. I remember her words, “No one should be alone on Thanksgiving. And everyone takes a doggy bag with them.”

Sheila had a heart of a saint. But few knew of my mother’s physical hardships. At 34 she had a hysterectomy and was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and severe diabetes. Then told, “You have six months to live.” My mother proved them wrong and lived twenty eight years longer than expected. She was in an almost fatal car accident and was told walking was out of the question. My mom proved them wrong after six months.

She had a strong will and resilience but, it is her zest for life, search for knowledge and the love of mankind that will live on through all of us. She has touched us deeply.

While going through my mother’s belongings a few days after passing over, I came across a poem she had written right after being diagnosed with Cancer. I would like to share it with you now.

 But Ms., Dying isn’t my fear…

One day after surgery

ah yes, the pain still lingers

one day after surgery a kindly

social worker came in to ask:

Are you afraid of dying?

Pressing the issue, ever demanding

my strength, my last blood,

Let’s talk about dying, you’ll feel

so much better, dear.

Dying? What a queer subject

when one is supposedly recovering.

The contradiction of will and reality.

I’m overcome, Ms., please leave.

She stayed on,

ghoulishly awaiting a cathartic breath, a sentence she

could transcribe into: service.

You want to serve me, and not waste

an ounce of your precious education

then serve me.

Teach me to live with the knowledge of


Her face grimed. I cannot.

I was sent here to discuss dying,

not living.

To err is human. I learned this hard lesson the morning my mother passed over.

It was a dark and wintery night when the first call came in, probably around midnight and the nurse stated she was having some problems and was calling the doctor to confirm placing her on an IV bag. I should have jumped up that very minute. Not once in two months had they called me to tell me her status. I was half awake and half asleep…but that was no excuse. I didn’t rush down there to hold her hand. I didn’t get into the truck and speed over to the hospital to tell her I loved her. I just rolled over and went back to sleep. Two hours and seventeen minutes later the phone rang. My heart sank. The nurse on the other end said there was nothing they could do…she was gone.

I dropped the phone, speechless. I was hysterical, barely able to speak. To say the words, my mother passed over. My friend, confidant, sometimes worst enemy yet, the one who taught me about life, strength, courage and love in her own way, has left her earthly body.

I know she is here in spirit and I want her to know that you have not only inspired me but so many others along the journey of life. You taught us of the meaning of living. “Follow your heart”, you always said. Never again will I talk to my friend, confidant, sometimes worst enemy yet, the one who taught me about life, strength, courage and love. Never again will my mom call to me in the evening to tell me to turn the channel to the dog show competition or to call just to say I love you. They say, “Never say never because it will happen” and I believe it to be true because those vibrations go out into the universe. So, when I meet my mother in heaven, we will talk again. I will embrace mom as if one day has not passed.

You are my inspiration, my guiding light, my mother. You have touched the world with your heart and we thank you for you being you.

Mom always thought that I was the queen of clichés. That my humor was dry. Well, before I say my last goodbye to the woman who had a heart of a saint, I will not disappoint her. Jerry Seinfeld once stated, “A recent survey stated that the average person’s greatest fear is having to give a speech in public. Somehow this ranked even higher than death which was third on the list. So, you’re telling me that at a funeral, most people would rather be the guy in the coffin than have to stand up and give a eulogy.”

Mom, I love you. Thank you all and remember, love is stronger than death.

Mom’s Photography

I Love You Mom

We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.   Leave a comment

I wrote this speech for Margaret Cho when I attended a speechwriting course in April 2011. In theory, MC asked me to write a speech for her capturing her voice. I hope I did! Thank you to all my resources.

Introduction for Margaret Cho

I don’t think I, Danelle
could ever
give a proper introduction
for this woman.
She is a beautiful,
drop dead diva, comedian,
lover of humanity,
I say that in the spiritual sense (Looks at Margaret)
and political activist.
I give you my old,
old friend,

We are gathered here today
to bless these two in holy mat,
wait a second.
What the *Bleep*.
Hey, who wrote this *Bleep*?
Sounds like I’m marrying a couple.
Do you lesbian number one
take lesbian number two
to have
and to hold,
Ok, sorry wrong speech.
I hope my dog didn’t eat (Shuffle papers, whispers)
my *Bleep* speech again.
Oh, wait!
I Got it!
Do over.
Let’s try this one on for size shall we.

Good morning,
What a great honor for me and thank you for joining us at the GLBT History Museum. On this bright and sunny morning we are here to dedicate the First GLBT History Museum’s Permanent exhibit of Queers in the United States on this day, April 17, 2011.

The GLBT History Museum’s presentation will incorporate
a gallery specifically on the Queer population
and its history.
That’s right.
We have history!
The museum will feature
two debut exhibitions.
In the main gallery,
you will find Our Vast Queer Past
Celebrating San Francisco’s
GLBT History.
Curated by historians
Gerard Koskovich,
Don Romesburg and
Amy Sueyoshi.
In the front gallery,
you’ll find great collections
of the GLBT Historical Society’s

We are here to honor our community
and the GLBT Historical Society’s 25th anniversary,
the curators of Our Vast Queer Past
who burrowed into every corner
of the society’s extraordinary archives.
We are here to show respect
and acceptance as we dedicate
this section of this museum as our very own.
It is a commemorative event
not only to Queers, (Point to audience)
and those questioning.
It is for everyone.
Did I forget anybody?
For those who don’t know me,
hello bitches.
I’m Margaret Cho,
nice to meet’cha.

I am the Korean American fag-hag, (Point to self)
girl comic,
trash talker
and I am a biological female.
In layman’s terms
I was born a girl.
I’ll let you in on a little secret,
I am
and always will be
in love with men,
women or whatever.
It’s not what’s between a person legs
that matters to me.
That’s how I got the label queer.
After having gay boyfriends for many years (Slow down)
finally I have a straight husband,
and lover all in one.
After having lesbian girlfriends
and lovers thrown in the mix,
I am Queer.
I’m not a lesbian anymore.
Which is a shame.
Because I am soooo good at softball. (Pause)

Fran Lebowitz once said,
“Girls who put out are tramps.
Girls who don’t are ladies.
This is,
a rather archaic usage of the word.
Should one of you boys happen upon a girl
who doesn’t put out,
do not jump to the conclusion
that you have found a lady.
What you have probably found is a Lesbian.”
I am not the first avowed queer woman
and I won’t be the last.
I have always tried to make a difference
promoting equal rights for all,
regardless of sexual orientation
or identity.
This museum has joined me
in the fight.
Our struggles,
and tears can be seen in the exhibition.
It begins with a rainbow view
of nearly a century of queer experiences
in the San Francisco Bay Area.
You will be consumed
by multiple stories,
sometimes interweaving,
sometimes isolated,
sometimes in battle.
What will you find? (Pause)
Motifs based on being human.
The first is the search for companionship
and pleasure.
The second is the struggle
for self-determination
and respect in an often hostile society.
The third is the value of individual
and collective expression.
And the fourth is the spirit,
and wit that have been keys to our survival.
But, really why are we here?
Society is slowly learning to be more diverse.
Back in the day,
you see I was a lesbian
and very proud.
I can remember the moments
of being a lesbian.

First, I can recall the memories
of a woman touching me,
Second, the curves of a woman’s body,
her scent,
and eyes would always beckon me.
I do understand the meaning
of being a lesbian.
And third,
being with a woman
was one of the most spiritual experiences
that I had ever known.
As I close my eyes,
at this very moment,
I can envision the women
who were a part of my life.
Not only emotionally but,
and spiritually.
I can tell you that each woman had
their own inner essence.
Each touched my heart.
with time comes change and well,
people change.
I was a lesbian.
And then bisexual
and now presently considered a queer.
I’ve have such a wealth of sexual experience.
I’m always going to be queer.
Why you ask?
Because, I follow my heart.
I married a bio man. (Speed up)
I kinda wanted to get married
and I looked at husbands
like I looked at tattoos.
Like I WANT one
but I can’t decide on WHAT,
and I don’t want to be STUCK with something that
I am going to grow to hate.
I have come to realize
that there is a difference between genders.
Straight men are so simple.
All they need are beer
and boobs
and Buffalo wings.

Oh yeah,
and straight men
don’t want to go shopping,
etc. are all people to be respected,
just people,
just different.
Just as we each have
our own hearts,
and souls.
Let’s talk about our dilemma
that has to do with diversity
in our world.
Do you think our society
is ready for the next gender identity?
I know we are willing to try.
To learn more about what queer really means.
Queer in today’s society
is considered similar to
the features of the GLBT group.
no but,
no cigar.
We are our own breed.
Once again,
society is slowly learning diversity.
We as a society (Look around)
need to open our minds
to the unknown.
To open our hearts.
To open our acceptance level.
We all want the same rights (Point up)
and freedoms.
Because we all know
that once we face the unknown,
it is not that scary anymore.
I was partially raised by my parents,
and partially grew up cradled
within the gay community
by a motley crew of gay men
and drag queens.

I grew up in the 80s
and 90s,
and I worked a lot
as an AIDS activist
when I was very young.
So it’s something
I always knew I would do.
It’s just inherent to who I am.
My identity is
rooted in my activism.
I’m queer,
I’m a woman of color
and I’m very progressive politically.
I hope to one day
leave my mark on this world,
we call home.
Today marks a day for learning. (Slow down)
Learning from the past
that will give us strength
for our future battles.
As we look at the past within these walls,
it reminds us we still have far to go.

Presently, legislation is pending
in both the House
and Senate
for our community.
Gays and lesbians
have been struck hard
and need Congress
to Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act,
Respect for Marriage Act H.R. 3567
which denies legally married lesbian
and gay couples
more than 1,000 federal protections.
These are basic protections
such as access to Social Security benefits
and the right to care for an ailing spouse
under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
With six states
either providing
or soon to provide marriage benefits
to same-sex couples,
it’s time for Congress
to repeal DOMA.
To treat all married couples equally.

which was signed into law
by former President Bill Clinton in 1996
has two key components
against the GLBT community.
Section 2 stipulates
that no state need recognize
legal civil marriages
between persons of the same sex.
Even if the marriage was recognized
in another state.
Section 3 prohibits
the federal government
from recognizing same-sex marriages
for any purpose.
Excluding these couples
from all federal benefits and protections.
Whether granted by statue,
or sub-regulatory decision.
It effectively bars federal benefits
from flowing to same-sex couples
in state recognized unions.
These are unequal
and unfair laws.
We all deserve the same rights
don’t we?
As the GLBT community
struggles it also strengthens.
As gay and lesbians are fighting
for their rights,
we as queer individuals fight for ours.
Their fights are our fights.
If you are a woman,
if you are a person of color,
if you are gay,
if you are a person of size,
if you are person of intelligence,
if you are a person of integrity,
then you are considered
a minority in this world.
As we come together today
as a united front,
we will experience life
as never before seen.

With all my heart,
please join me
with great pleasure
in opening the doors.
The doors of enlightenment
for all the world to see.
A queer world.
My world.
Our world.
This exhibit reminds us all
that just because you are blind,
and unable to see my beauty
doesn’t mean it does not exist.
I want each of you to remember these words. Love is the big booming beat which covers up the noise of hate.
Thank you all for making history with me. (Put hands together and bow).

Jack Welch’s Acceptance Speech ~ The Boundaryless Behavior of a Company   4 comments

I wrote this speech for Jack Welch when I attended a speechwriting course. In class theory, I was asked to write a speech for him capturing his voice. I hope I did! Thank you to all my resources.


Speaker: Jack Welch

Introduction for Jack Welch

When I was asked to introduce

The Leader of The Century for 2011

my first question was,

“Is it going to be the creative,

experimental risk taker,

Richard Branson

or maybe the charismatic,

domineering battler Lee Iacocca?

Wrong on both counts.

The voice on the other end of the phone said,

“No just the ruthless pursuer of performance,

Jack Welch.

I almost dropped the receiver.  

I have followed his leadership capabilities

through the years.

Jack Welch has been a true friend

and mentor.

He is the only person

I know who can look at a company

and draw from his experiences

to create a new culture within an organization.

He is the most studied CEO of the 20th century.

Jack Welch began his forty one year career

with the General Electric Company in 1960,

and in 1981 became the company’s eighth chairman

and CEO.  

Fortune named him

“Manager of the century,”

and the Financial Times named him

one of the three most admired business leaders

in the world.

It is my great pleasure

to introduce The Leader of The Century for 2011,

Jack Welch. 

What an honor and distinction to be The Leader of the Century for 2011. 

Thank you 

and good afternoon.

Why are we here?

The Leaders of the Century Award Committee’s

importance brings clarity to those who are considered

a leader of their times

and why they were nominated for the award.

These twelve men and woman congregated

to determine out of thirty nominations

who would be The Leader of The Century.

Their task was not an easy one.

Each candidate had years of experience to explore.  

Knowing the importance of examining their actions

and the impact they made. 

In my opinion,

business is about people.

At the end of the day,

people are what matter.

In life there are leaders and followers.

Through my life I have mastered leadership skills,

learning that without trust,

you have nothing.

The award committee has chosen me

as a reflection of my leadership

and abilities.

I am deeply moved. 

I share this award

with all who worked with me.

Distinguished Leaders of the Century Award Committee,

esteemed Executive Leaders,

Board of Directors,

GE employees,

and my dear family,

Thank you. (Pause)

Thank you for seeing my visions.

Thank you for supporting my leadership.

Being the CEO from 1981 – 2001 had been a great honor.

The fundamental style of working with others for me

was primarily to create an organizational learning culture.

Risk was rewarded to the employees

and for attaining their goals.

This was accomplished by implementing changes

in the organizational mission,


and structure through focusing on qualities

such as vision,

shared values,


and relationship building.

While enhancing the organizational culture

of General Electric,

I incorporated personal identification

between the employees and myself.

I defined shared beliefs reflecting important

and essential issues faced by

members of the group.

Empowering the employees to perform

beyond their expectations.

I stimulated intelligence within the workforce.

I have been told (Slow down)

that I depicted

leadership characteristics

as a CEO by first,

identifying my vision to the team.


setting examples by leading by example.


communicating a common goal.


placing high performance values on each member of the group. 

And last but,

not least fifth,

respect for employees

and explaining that each position within the organization

has room for improvement,

if they reflect on increasing performance.

How can we get less formal?

Not only was the changing of the reward system important

for implementation of the new goals,


I had also brought an air of informality to the company.

From the beginning,

I requested everyone to call me Jack.

My father was Mr. Welch, not me. (Pause)

When people voice their ideas,

the corporation gets less formal.

I don’t wear ties to work

and I have been known

to hold informal meetings

and encourage everyone to lighten up.

Informality inspires people to have more ideas

and it is one of the keys to GE’s success.

My vision incorporated the development of employees,


as well as their suppliers.

I communicated with individuals

on a consistent basis

and at times with hand written notes. 

To increase pride,


and to give everyone a sense of value

resulting in building an efficient workplace.

I believe that our relationship was built on trust,


interpersonal skills,

and loyalty

towards my employees and coworkers.

I motivated them

with my vision

and communication.

But, how can we immerse ourselves

in learning you ask?  

My vision and desire

to transform GE into a learning organization

not only helped to educate the employees but,

expanded this philosophy inside

as well as outside the organization.

It empowered all who were associated

with this company. (Pause)

To encourage the company to lead.

You and I together found a way to lead.

I launched a program for mentoring.

The mentoring and coaching programs

for the employees

proceeded to gear us towards personal development

within the company.

Every manager was a mentor.

I believe that a disparate conglomerate

was transformed into a global teaching organization.

I have to admit and be honest,

at this point and time.

I was afraid of the internet

because I couldn’t type.

I found the self-confidence to overcome my fear.

I found the self-confidence to go head on to make my dreams

for GE a reality.

I found the self-confidence to lead.

Incorporated within my philosophy was trustworthiness

which to me

was the key.

You must gain the trust of your people.  

If you don’t have their trust,

you’ll never be a great leader. 

This aspect was crucial to encourage the employees,


and suppliers in order for them to trust

and accept the beliefs,


and new organizational goals to increase our productivity

and performance. 

In 1980,

the year before I became CEO,

GE recorded revenues of roughly $26.8 billion,

in 2000,

the year before I left,

they were nearly $130 billion.

The company went from a market value of $14 billion

to one of more than $410 billion

at the time of my retirement. (Point up)

Making it the most valuable

and largest company in the world

and I could not have done it without my coworkers,


and management.

What sets GE apart from the rest?

It is our culture that used diversity as a boundless source (Speed up)

of learning opportunities.

It is our culture that used the foundation of understanding

the organization’s ability to learn

and act fast giving us a competitive edge.  

Warren Bennis believed that  

a new leader has to be able to change an organization

that is dreamless, soulless and visionless.

Someone’s got to make a wakeup call. (Look around)

I was that someone.

I then pose the age old question,

Are leaders born or made?

I can only speak for myself.

Through my struggles,



and other experiences

plus throwing in formal education,

I transformed into a leader.

GE’s leader.

I initiated the opening up of a new world

within the organization.

My vision was shared (Point towards audience)

and became our vision leading to future successes. 

My goal was to lead,

to create a vision and make people passionate

about their work.

By today’s ceremony,

I know I have succeeded.


I could not have accomplished

all that I did without everyone’s support.

Throughout our history

each of our leaders

has had a restless drive for a better GE.

And a better world.

And each has extended the company’s tradition

of leadership development

by encouraging the ingenuity of the people around.

I am proud to be added to the list of these great men of GE,

Charles A. Coffin, President, 1892 – 1912 and Chairman, 1913 – 1922. E. W. Rice, President 1913 – 1922. Gerard Swope, President 1942 – 1945 and 

1922 –1940. Owen D. Young, Chairman 1942 – 1945, 1922 – 1940. Charles E. Wilson,  President, 1945 – 1950 and 1940 -1942. Ralph J. Coriner,

Chairman and CEO, 1958 – 1963 and President, 1950 – 1958. Philip D. Reed, Chairman, 1945 -1958 and 1940 -1942. Fred J. Borch, Chairman and CEO,

1967 – 1972 and President and CEO, 1963 – 1967. Gerald L. Phillippe, Chairman, 1963 – 1967 and President, 1961 -1963.

Reginald H. Jones, Chairman and CEO, 1972 – 1981.

And then there was me.

My second goal was to be a teacher in a sense.

As the company moved forward,

everyone had proven an increased awareness.

Of what was right.



and even beautiful.

I had planted seeds

and watched them flourish.

I hope to have touched people’s lives

and elevated their needs for achievement

and self-actualization.

I ask you now,

what makes a great leader?

I believe that we need to do things

that build people’s self-confidence.

It’s all about praising others

and getting excited about their victories.

That’s what makes a great leader.

I personally got my first taste

of leadership

from the scrappy,

aggressive kids in the neighborhood

playing endless games and sports.

I learned to exercise leadership,

involve everyone

and to be flexible.

The GE of the future

will be based on the cherished values that drive us today,

mutual trust.

Our dream,

our plan,

was simple then

and it is up to you to carry the torch to future greatness.

Strive for self-confidence, Strive to learn and Strive for a better future. (Point to audience) 

Today, you bestowed upon me a title that will forever be close to my heart. As

we conclude this special occasion, a chance to glance back for a moment to see

the progression of GE, I have just six words to say. We’ve come a long way

baby! (Gesture thumbs up)

Thank you.