If written words were so powerful, why would the most influential people in the world give public speeches? The spoken word can be used to a more powerful affect to an audience. Written word has its advantages, don't get me wrong, but spoken words can move folks.
MLK, Abraham Lincoln, etc aren't remembered for their pamplets....They are remembered for their speaches and their message.
Speaking brings one directly in contact with the audience. Our body language, tone, facial expressions speak more than our words. Through writing one gets the message; through speaking one connects and actually communicates. Cross questioning becomes easy; queries are resolved quickly; history also states orators as more influential than writers.
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I say spoken words are more powerful, especially when presented by an eloquent speaker, author, etc. When written, it’s hard to imagine what kind of person is talking, how they sound when they say it. One can hear other people’s attitudes toward a subject, depending on how they elevate or lower their voices. Take one of Obama’s speeches for example. When hearing it, you can tell how enthusiastic, or maybe concerned he is about a particular topic he addresses. That option is not available in the written word.
There are lots of errors a man could have while giving a speech, such a stuttering. They could also have an accent. However, written words can be perfected. If i right something down, i can fix any errors i may have made. Also, if the person is deaf and blind, they have braille which is a form of text.
It all depends on what is being presented. The question is too vague. You could ask is spoken poetry more powerful than written poetry for example, but even then it is very personal. For one person, a written text can be very powerful, since they are able to infer what the words actually mean out of their own personal opinions and thoughts. It may not be what the author originally intended the words to mean, but the piece is still powerful. However, to another person, those same words have no meaning because they are not able to connect to them. But once the author reads them out loud and emphasises whatever (s)he thinks is important, and presents it in a way which makes the words more powerful to the second person. You can't say that spoken or written words are more powerful, because you cannot speak for someone else. Also, as it is different from person to person, it is different from piece to piece. MLK's "I have a Dream" speech is not as powerful if you have only read it. But once you have heard him perform it, it comes alive. However, in my opinion, authors such as James Joyce are not as powerful when read aloud, because the effect is lost.
It all depends on the words and the person. In some cases spoken words are more powerful, while in others written words are more powerful.