A speech given by a GoH at a convention. For the first few decades of conventions, the GoH Speech would often be the high point of the convention's program. It was not uncommon for the speech to be carefully prepared and later published. At Worldcons it, not the Hugo Awards was often the centerpiece of the banquet.
As conventions grew larger and more complicated, and as the program became multi-track, and especially as the custom of holding a banquet declined, the GoH speech came to be simply a program item, albeit an important one. (Much to the relief of guests who were not skilled speakers!)
The all-time record for GoH speeches must be Phil Farmer's speech at BayCon in 1968. Several geological epochs passed during the speech. By the time it ended, new mountain ranges had risen, and new ocean basins had opened up...
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