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Start of a New Year Speech

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A speech marking the start of a new business year, with challenges ahead (literary in tone)

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									DESCRIPTION OF SPEECH: A speech marking the start of a new business year, with challenges ahead (literary in tone). WHOM SPEECH IS SUITABLE FOR: CEO, President, Department Director, etc. As [Company Name] readies for a new business year, we also prepare to face some major [some challenges/a challenge]. [Name some challenges or one big one, ala, “Regaining lost market share,” “Updating our products to better compete in a radically altered industry landscape,” etc.] We can meet [these challenges/this challenge]—we have more than enough talent and ingenuity in this room; I am fully confident in that. And, in fact, we will meet [these challenges/this challenge]. But I’m not going to lie—it’s going to require us fully working those talents and that ingenuity. I suppose we can point to circumstances beyond our control that have landed us in a less than ideal set of circumstances. [Name examples: “The war, the ambiguous economy, industry mergers bringing tougher competition,” etc.] But while it’s important to be aware of these factors, at least enough to learn how to counteract their negative effects, these things are best ignored otherwise. [Industry] is not known for being namby-pamby and making excuses for our performance works against our greater good. As Maya Angelou put it, “Whining is not only graceless, but can be dangerous. It can alert a brute that a victim is in the neighborhood.” [NOTE: The second line of that quote can be lopped off, optionally.] Although Ms. Angelou’s words superbly illustrate my point, I don’t necessarily mean those words literally—and I don’t think Maya herself was referring to actually whining aloud herself, either. But the operative issue here is attitude. We need to get beyond the reasons why we are faced with [these 
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