A Right-Brained Speech

Sometimes a speech comes along that gives the best kind of creativity.

Mitch Landrieu is the mayor of New Orleans. If you haven’t been following the news, he is presiding over the removal of several monuments to the confederacy there.

He has been taking heat for it, even though it is not just his decision, and all three branches of government were involved over a long period of time to reach consensus about removing the monuments.

The reason I’m including it here is that it illustrates several key ways the Right Brain skill set can come to the fore at an opportune time:

  1. Use of eloquent, poetic language. The Left Brain can only see language as an informational tool. The Right Brain sees it as metaphoric expression. Mayor Landrieu (and whoever helped him draft the speech) employed just about as effective and creative language as I’ve heard in a long time.
  2. Clear-eyed view. The Right Brain is capable of seeing the world as it is. A realistic view of what these monuments mean, of what they are actually about, and how they affect real people, is a primary aim of the speech.
  3. Transcending sides. Even though this is a political speech given by a politician, it is the least partisan speech I’ve heard lately. It appeals to a larger vision, rather than getting caught up in blame. It uses morals and values, it paints a picture of a world everyone can aspire to.
  4. Focus on community. The good of the whole is put forward as the aim of the action defended in the speech. Societies will disagree about what the “good of the whole” means, and who counts as being part of that whole. What this speech does is place front and center the fact that the cause of the Civil War has long been decided, and as a community we have a duty to do what is right. Once again, this is a Right Brain worldview, a Right Brain way of constructing what is good, what is ultimately our aim, given the reality in front of us.

Set aside a few minutes and watch Mitch Landrieu’s memorable speech. It is a piece of history, and you’ll be glad you saw it. And the next time you have a presentation, remember these four points about the Right Brain and good speeches: Eloquent, Clear-Eyed, Transcending, and Community-Focused.

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More on creativity at RightBrainSolutions.org

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