Dr. Kenneth McFarland
Dean of American Public Speakers
Dr. Jarvis on Dr. McFarland's Speeches
Dr. McFarland's speeches were classics. In a letter to people interested in hearing Dr. McFarland's talks, Dr. Charles Jarvis writes:
Dr. Kenneth McFarland was the best speaker in the United States. This fact is acknowleged by all the professional speakers appearing today...that is, if they ever heard him. He was known as the "Dean of American Public Speaking". His honors and awards fill a seperate page.
He started speaking back in the thirties when he was trying to help the teachers in their plight during the Great Depression. As his reputation mushroomed, he spoke for conventions and corporations. He was the principle speaker for the General Motors Speakers Bureau and had many assignments as their representative. He was in demand as a conservative, patriotic, motivational speaker - the best in the United States or anywhere else. His speeches were and still are wonderful.
Dr. Mc and I were very good friends. I called him at his home and apologized for interrupting his privacy. He told me that I could call him any time, "even out of church." We had a great relationship. We were on several programs together and we welcomed such occasions so we could visit and enjoy each other. He was a fountain of speaking experience.
I have taken the liberty of including a letter Dr. Mc sent me the day following his hearing me for the first time. We were on that program together. The next day he wrote that letter and from that time on we had a lively corresponcence. I cherished his friendship and the times we had together. We appeared on programs together four times. At those engagements, we visited and enjoyed each other, talked about speaking, speakers, history, politics, America (wonderful country that it is), the Basics of Success, religion, etc. I have over forty letters from Dr. Mc, as I called him.
He was a fine man, a wonderful Christian and an extremely patriotic American. This is evident in all his speeches. His "America's Opportunity -- Bicentennial" is the best talk I've ever heard. I have listened to each of his speeches many times and they all thrill me still. How I wish in '76 our government and its people would have incorporated basics he espoused in this great speech. I am sure it will thrill you as it did me the first time I heard the tape. Since that first hearing, I have listened to all 26 of his speeches many times each. I never tire of them. Be sure you hear this great patriotic talk about the purposes of a convention:.."to get the picture" and "...saving the frame", "the United States of America."
He lay down for a nap after lunch March 6, 1985 and never awakened. I personally believe that the Lord he worshiped and witnessed to, allowed him this placid entrance to what he and I called, "The Great Podium in the Sky."
To this day people call my office wanting to know if I have any of his speeches available. I now have all of Dr. Mc's speeches on CDs. I have a contract with Chief Justice Kay McFarland, State of Kansas, his daughter, to reproduce and distribute his speeches, which are available through this website.
Dr. Charles W. Jarvis
Honors and Awards
Freedom Foundation's National Leadership Award
American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award
Honorary Member: America's Number One Rotary Club, Chicago
Freedom Foundation's Free Enterprise Exemplar Medal
Bachelor Degree, Pittsburgh State College in Kansas
America's Number One Air Passenger
Sales and Marketing Executives International's Outstanding Salesman of America
International Speakers Hall of Fame Award
Honorary Member, Fraternal Order of Police
Optimist International's Highest Honor: The International President's Award
Toastmaster International's Golden Gavel Award for Excellence in Communications and Leadership
McFarland Dies at 78 - March 6, 1985
A spokesman for Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center said McFarland, 78, was taken by ambulance to the hospital after he collapsed at his home, 4401 W. 10th, after suffering an apparent heart attack. No autopsy will be performed.
Dr. McFarland, who had been employed since the 1950s as a lecturer and educational consultant for the General Motors Corp., received numerous awards from politically conservative civic, patriotic and business-oriented organizations for his support of the Free Enterprise system. For 15 years of his career as a public speaker, he also lectured on behalf of the Reader's Digest.
In a 1983 interview with The Capital-Journal, McFarland described his reason for speaking out in favor of conservative ideals: "People in favor of socialist trends never quit, and the rest of us can't either."
At that time, McFarland reaffirmed his belief in conservatism as the dominant political philosophy: "I agree with some others that we should have a realignment of the parties, so instead of having Republicans and Democrats we would have Conservatives and Liberals -- and the Conservative Party would be the larger."
McFarland expressed his opinions most frequently as an after-dinner speaker, and in 1982 was named to Quote magazine's list of 10 Most Quotable Public Speakers, alongside Bob Hope, Paul Harvey, and Lee Iococca. He also was the author of several books and pamphlets on politics, law enforcement and public speaking. Many of his speeches were recorded on cassette tapes.
McFarland, who was an outspoken critic of campus unrest and anti-war protests during the 1960s and early 1970s, also was an advocate of law and order. He was the author of the Topeka Plan for Law Enforcement, which was implemented by the Topeka Police Department.
McFarland was a superintendent of schools for 24 years. He was employed as superintendent by the Topeka school system for nine years during the 1940s and early 1950s. Before that, he served as superintendent of schools in Coffeyville and in Anthony. While in Coffeyville, McFarland designed and built the McFarland Trade School there. Early in his career he served as a school principal at Cherryvale.
A native of Caney, Kansas, McFarland received a bachelor's degree from Pittsburg State University in 1927. He earned a Master's Degree from Columbia University in 1931 and a doctorate from Stanford University in 1940.
McFarland received many honors and awards. They included Pittsburg State University's Meritorious Achievement Award (1979), American Freedom Foundation's Freedom Leadership Medal (1968), the Free Enterprise Exemplar Medal (1975), Optimist International's Presidential Award for Law Enforcement (1968), American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award (1968), American Philanthropic Board of Trustees' Outstanding American Award (1974) and Toastmasters International's Golden Gavel Award (1980).
McFarland, who lived for many years at his farm home on West 10th Street, raised and exhibited Tennessee walking horses.
He was born October 12, 1906, at Caney, Kansas. He is survived by his wife, Margaret E. Thrall McFarland, whom he married in 1927; a son, James W. McFarland, Kansas City, Kansas, and a daughter, Kay, who is a justice of the Kansas Supreme Court (Now Chief Justice Kay McFarland).
Service arrangements are pending with Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home.
Topeka Capitol-Journal, March 7, 1985.
The Speeches of Dr. Kenneth McFarland
Through the efforts of Dr. Jarvis to collect these speeches with permission of Chief Justice Kay McFarland, his talks can be found here.
Enjoy these talks and share this source with friends who will appreciate their value.
"America's Opportunity (Bicentennial - 1976-1989)"
"Are We Raising the Red Flag Over Ourselves?"
"Guarding America Tonight"
"How is America Doing?"
"Ladder To Success"
"Leadership that Leads"
"Let's Sell Success"
"Liberty Under Law"
"Public Speaking - Part One"
"Public Speaking - Part Two"
"Ropes of Gold"
"Selling America to Americans"
"Speak Up For America!"
"The Best of McFarland's Humor, Vol I"
"The Best of McFarland's Humor, Vol II"
"The Best of McFarland on Insurance"
"The Best of McFarland for Salesmen"
"The PERSON in SalesPERSON"
"Wake The Town and Tell the People"
"Who Bites the Bountiful Hand"
"Who Will Succeed...?"
"You Better Believe It"