Skip to content
Who's in the Video
Theodore C. Sorensen, former special counsel and adviser to President John F. Kennedy and a widely published author on the presidency and foreign affairs, practiced international law for more than[…]

First and foremost, be honest.

Question: What is the key to effective public communication?

Ted Sorensen: Well the most effective public communications are those which are honest; which are sincere; which are clear enough and sufficiently well organized; and sufficiently interesting in the ideas presented, and the way in which they are presented. You get people to listen and pay attention. Not everybody does. The hope is that they will listen and pay attention, and that they will then act, and act in the way that the speaker wants them to act. That’s all too rare, but Kennedy was at home on the public platform and in front of television. He was naturally eloquent whether I was writing for him or not, and people listened and they acted.