The Lost Art of the Great Speech: How to Write One--How to Deliver It

Overview

"Splashy slides, confident body language, and a lot of eye contact are fine and well. But if a speech is rambling, illogical, or just plain boring, the impact will be lost. Now everyone can learn to give powerful, on-target speeches that capture an audience's attention and drive home a message. The key is not just in the delivery techniques, but in tapping into the power of language.

Prepared by an award-winning writer, this authoritative speech-writing guide covers every essential element of a great speech, ...

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The Lost Art of the Great Speech: How to Write One--How to Deliver It

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Overview

"Splashy slides, confident body language, and a lot of eye contact are fine and well. But if a speech is rambling, illogical, or just plain boring, the impact will be lost. Now everyone can learn to give powerful, on-target speeches that capture an audience's attention and drive home a message. The key is not just in the delivery techniques, but in tapping into the power of language.

Prepared by an award-winning writer, this authoritative speech-writing guide covers every essential element of a great speech, including outlining and organizing, beginning with a bang, making use of action verbs and vivid nouns, and handling questions from the audience. Plus, the book includes excerpts from some of history's most memorable speeches—eloquent words to contemplate and emulate."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814470541
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 10/5/1999
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 501,986
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Dowis (Waleska, GA) recently retired from his position as senior vice president at the PR firm of Manning, Selvage & Lee. He now leads several popular business-writing seminars and is the president of the Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature. He has also won PRSA Phoenix Awards for speech and annual report writing. His books include How to Make Your Writing Reader-Friendly and (as coauthor) The Write Way.

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Table of Contents

1. Opportunity Knocks
"Their Finest Hour," Winston Churchill, June 18, 1940
"A Date Which Will Live in Infamy," Franklin D. Roosevelt, December 8, 1941

2. Before You Speak
"The Awesome Power of Disobedience," Charlton Heston, February 1999
"Today I am an Inquisitor," Representative Barbara Jordan, 1974

3. Preparing to Write
"Glory and Hope," Nelson Mandela, May 1992
"The Woman I Love," Edward VIII, December 11, 1936

4. Outlining and Organizing
"A Celebration of Freedom," President John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

5. Beginning Well
"This Breed Called Americans," President Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1982

6. The Best of References
"Remember How Futures Are Built," Mario Cuomo, July 16, 1984

7. Watch Your Language
"My Last Goodnight to You," President Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 17, 1961

8. Write It Right, Say It Right
"The Name America Must Always Exalt Pride," George Washington, March 1797

9. Professional Techniques
"Common Ground and Common Sense," the Rev. Jesse Jackson, July 1988

10. Wisdom of the Ages
"The Battle Has Been Joined," President George Bush, January 16, 1991

11. Get Personal
"Our Long National Nightmare," President Gerald Ford, August 9, 1974

12. Statistics and Other Lies
"The Danger of Our Decade," Margaret Thatcher, December 18, 1979

13. Closing the Speech
"You Have Summoned Me to the Highest Mission," Adlai Stevenson, July 26, 1952

14. I Have the Honor to Present
"The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth," Lou Gehrig, July 4, 1939

15. More Than Words Can Say
"Gaining Strength and Respect in the World," Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, January 20, 1984

16. The Final Stages
"Eulogy for Richard M. Nixon," Senator Robert Dole, April 27, 1994

17. And So to Speak
"A New Birth of Freedom," Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863
Appendix A: An Editing Checklist
Appendix B: Resources for Speakers and Speechwriters
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2002

    A Great Resource for Speakers

    Richard Dowis spends no time lamenting this lost art. Instead he focuses his energy on its resurrection. Dowis's background in journalism and public relations provided the foundation for his writing a remarkably readable book. His conversational style serves as a model for the language you would want to hear -- and use -- in a speech. Frequent headings and an especially legible font also contribute to the book's readability. In _The Lost Art of the Great Speech_, Dowis addresses every conceivable aspect of this topic -- from deciding whether to accept a speaking engagement to "leveraging" a speech by converting it to one or more publishable articles. The book takes a holistic approach to speech writing. Chapters follow the process of speech preparation, including delivery as well as crafting. In addition, Dowis discusses topics such as how to write a speech to be delivered by someone else and how to introduce a speaker. Each chapter includes pertinent excerpts from actual speeches, many taken from the business world, and also includes a full speech or a substantial excerpt of a speech by a well-known person. Many of these speeches have historical significance. Having asserted that "reading and listening to speeches is one of the keys to learning how to write and deliver them," Dowis supplies us with many examples to study. Dowis devotes several chapters to rhetorical devices that can lift a speech from the respectable to the eloquent. To illustrate how rhetoric can immortalize a concept, he compares several versions of an idea that appeared in speeches by famous Americans. In addition to a detailed index, _The Lost Art of the Great Speech_ includes two helpful appendices: An Editing Checklist for Speech Writers and Resources for Speakers and Speech Writers. _The Lost Art of the Great Speech_ is a valuable resource for anyone who might have the opportunity to address a group of people. Although it does not include study questions or practice exercises, it would be an excellent book for a class of high school or college students as well as for adults who are studying independently.

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