Mouth performs two functions, one is eating and the other talking, the former is more important than the latter. But our discussion is about the act of talking, which is the theme of the above topic. The word ‘talk’ encompasses a very broad field. Discussions, arguments, conferencing, meetings, teaching, sermonizing, preaching, public speaking and lecturing are distinct items that come under its purview. They are effective means of imparting and receiving information which are indispensable for today’s complex society where this factor plays a dynamic role. It also includes rumour-mongering, tale-carrying and gossip. This kind of talk has a negative effect for it can inflict much damage to individuals who are the targets of such talk. ‘Great talkers’, in this dictum, also includes those who engage in unprofitable and useless talk such as gossip or rumour-mongering for the purpose of spending their idle time as well as to cause some sort of mischief to their neighbours or others whom they do not like.
By this means they derive much pleasure when they see the harm it causes to its victims; it is a sign of a warped mental sickness that derives much happiness in seeing others’ misery or mental agony. There have been numerous instances where false rumours of communal attacks and religious sacrilege propagated through words of mouth inflamed communities to launch retaliatory action causing indescribable damage to life and property. It is surely a crime against society that is worthy of condemnation. There is another class of people coming under the category of ‘great talkers’. They are named ‘boasters’ who try to show that they know everything under the sun and are more intelligent and more knowledgeable. These people often talk of themselves and their achievements with exaggeration, which is more or less regarded as a nuisance by their listeners. They do not realise that others laugh at their vanity. They carry on this further to belittle the accomplishments of their compatriots though, in fact, such skills have received the recognition of the authorities concerned.
Unjust or destructive criticism discourages initiative, which in the final analysis retard the development endeavour of any country. Viewed from this angle, boastfulness and destructive criticism is an enemy to progress and should be discouraged wherever and whenever possible. Having explained the negative side of great talking and what it means in terms of individual and corporate wellbeing, there is the need to look at the other side of the coin, namely whether great talkers are little doers. The safest place that can help us in this exercise is to have a look at the man’s historical past. Is it true that great talkers are little doers? On the contrary the course of history changed for good or bad because of the extraordinary oratorical power of a few individuals. There is no gainsaying that Adolf Hitler, the German Dictator, was a marvellous public speaker who galvanised the entire country to approve his political cult of making Germany the purest and supreme nation in the world, which ultimately resulted in World War II.
Although his unsurpassed brutality is worthy of universal condemnation, we have to give him his place as a skilful speaker who could manipulate his talent to nearly achieve his ambition of creating a powerful German nation. So, to say that great talkers are little doers is not true in all instances. In order to fortify the view that ‘great talkers are great doers’, it is appropriate to refer to a contemporary of Hitler. It is the British War time Prime Minister Winston Churchill whose heroic speeches to the nation stimulated the trembling English to rally round him to defeat the ceaseless Nazi attack. His famous speech – ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat’ – delivered in the House of Commons, later broadcast over the radio, infused the unwavering resolve not only into the English but also to the other European nations to confront the tyranny of Hitler unitedly.
While it was the great talker, Hitler, who ignited the flame of World War II, ironically Churchill the great talker succeeded in extinguishing the conflagration that caused great misery to the whole world. So, there is no justification to conclude that great talkers are little doers in view of the fact that great doers are also great talkers. There is a marked division between talking and speaking; the former consists of gossip and rumour-mongering, that causes mischief, and also boasting that shows one’s importance, but the latter is persuasive speaking whose aim is to win over the audience to the speaker’s point of view.