Cyrano de Bergerac 2.0: Speech-Writing Lessons From the Trenches

'Tis the season to hear speeches. It's all too clear right now that a well-written speech delivered with the right mix of rhetorical passion and inflection has the power to

stir crowds and change public opinion. Witness the reception accorded Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, following her turn at the podium at the

Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. Palin may not have authored her speech (it was penned by one of President Bush's former speechwriters, according to Time),

yet she infused it with so much conviction that she was able to effectively sell herself to many (including those poised in the center of the political spectrum) as a viable

running mate to the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain.