Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Reagan’s Speech and the Power to Resonate

This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. While there will be celebrations in memory of Reagan and his legacy in the world of politics, we recently passed the quarter-century mark for one of the defining moments of Reagan’s time in the White House.

In the upcoming Soundview Executive Book Summary of Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, author Nancy Duarte, founder of global design firm Duarte Design, describes the power of using cinematic and literary techniques to connect with an audience. Soundview subscribers will have the opportunity to hear an exclusive Soundview Author Interview with Duarte in which she describes one of the best examples of a presenter connecting with every segment of his audience.

On the morning of January 28, 1986, Reagan was preparing his State of the Union Address. The address was to be delivered that evening. Shortly before Noon, Reagan’s plans were forever altered when the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated a short 73 seconds after launch. The pain of the tragedy was heightened due to the high percentage of American children who tuned in to see schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe become the first civilian in space.

As Duarte points out in Resonate, Reagan canceled his State of the Union Address and instead opted to address the nation from the Oval Office. In her interview with Soundview, Duarte points out that Reagan was tasked with addressing several groups within the confines of a single speech: the families of the shuttle’s crew, grief-stricken Americans, frightened children, doubters of the space program, even America’s Cold War foes in the Eastern Bloc.

In a speech that became one of the most notable addresses of the 20th century, Reagan provided a mix of condolences, encouragement, compassion and strength. It ensured that each group who heard his voice received the message intended for it. Few who heard the address will ever forget its conclusion in which Reagan paraphrased the poem High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

“We will never forget them,” Reagan said, “nor the last time we saw them this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God.”

Visit to learn more about the upcoming release of Resonate and the exclusive interview with Nancy Duarte.


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