3

Here's an example:

BizComm is miles ahead of industry when it comes to artificial intelligence - a subject James will speak to later in the presentation.

I find this phrase jarring. The following seems to flow better:

BizComm is miles ahead of industry when it comes to artificial intelligence - a subject James will speak on later in the presentation.

Thoughts and comments? Is it even grammatically correct?

2

From Merriam-Webster's definition of speak:

1 C(2) : to address one's remarks
// speak to the issue

From Oxford Dictionaries:

1.7 (speak to) Answer (a question) or address (an issue or problem)
‘we should be disappointed if the report did not speak to the issue of literacy’


So, it's certainly grammatical. If you speak to something it means that you are going to address it—and, generally, it will be a problem.

On the other hand, if you speak on something, then you will be talking about it, not necessarily presenting an argument for or against it, or raising it as an actual problem that needs to be resolved or discussed.


While speak to and speak on do have subtly different meanings, Google Books NGram Viewer shows that speak to is more common in print:

speak to or on

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-1

James will speak to :

is not correct because 'speak to' is used to express 'to whom it is addressed', not the topic.

James will speak on :

is correct.

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