Writing Great Speeches: Professional Techniques You Can Use (Part of the Essence of Public Speaking Series), 1st edition

  • Alan M. Perlman


KEY BENEFIT: With endorsements from two of the largest and most influential public speaking groups -- the National Speakers Association and Toastmasters International -- this book is written by an expert speechwriter whose eloquent voice leads readers through the difficult process of writing a great speech. KEY TOPICS: In these pages a seasoned speechwriter reveals his trade secrets - from analyzing the needs of an audience to leaving them with a satisfying sense of closure - as he guides readers through the process of planning, writing, and honing an outstanding speech. Readers will discover effective ways to connect with an audience, explain concepts, and support ideas, learn how to time and cut a speech when necessary. The bottom line? When readers have finished this book, they will be well on their way to making their next big speech a big success! MARKET: Anyone -- from a businessperson to a community member -- who wants to learn the skills necessary to write and deliver a memorable speech. Part of the Essence of Public Speaking Series.

Table of contents

1.Deciding What to Say.

Purpose Controls Content.

Purpose: No Secrets.

How to Focus on Purpose.

From Purpose to Content.

Audience Controls Content.

Bottom Line: Purpose, Audience, Content.

2.Sequence: Putting Things in Order.

Background: An Interesting Paradox.

How to Organize: Seven Patterns.

How to Outline.

Sequence: The Speech as Story.

How to Signal Your Organizational Plan to Your Audience.

3.Beginning and Ending Your Speech.

How to Begin: The First Words Out of Your Mouth.

First Words: Behavioral Boners.

How to Begin: Fifteen Strategies.

How to End: Six Strategies.

Powerful Endings: The Last Words Out of Your Mouth.

4.Economy — Tips for Controlling Length.

Timing Your Speech.

Paths to Economy.

Review: Purpose/ Audience/ Content Questions.

When You Have to Cut it Down Even More.

5.Quick Credibility: Learning What You Need to Know.

Elements of Quick Credibility.

Definitional Perspective: What It Is.

Critical Perspective: What's Important.

Creativity on Cue: Generating Ideas.

Postscript: The Effective Use of Quotes.

Appendix: Aids to Quick Credibility: Sources of Facts, Quotes and Other Useful Material.

6.Ceremonial Speeches.

Why Ceremonial Speeches are Different.

The Challenge.


How to Organize the Introduction.


Award Acceptances.

The Golden Rule of Ceremonial Speechwriting.


What Makes a Speech “Listenable?”

Editing for Clarity.

Editing for Closure.

Editing for Coherence.

You've Got Rhythm.

8.Style: Dressing for the Occasion.

The Importance of Style.

Personal vs. Impersonal Style.

Personal or Impersonal? How to Choose Your Style.

Postscript on Style: Creating an “Implied Dialogue.”

9.Word Choice: Finding the Lighting.

Editing for Word Choice.

What Do Words Do?

Word-Choice Function #1: Labeling.

Word-Choice Function #2: Judging.

Word-Choice Function #3: Distancing.

The Right Word: Summary, What it Means to "Use a Word Correctly."

Word-Choice Challenge #1: Language Variability and Change.

Word-Choice Challenge #2: Gender and Other Sensitivities.

Word-Choice Challenge #3: Balancing Originality and Familiarity.

10.Delivering the Message.

Selecting Your Support Strategy.

Speechmaking as Acting.

Key to Effective Delivery: Modeling.

How to Deliver a Script with Impact.

Rehearsal and Evaluation.

Final Preparations.

11.Bringing It All Together: Practicing What I Preach.

Summary: How to Make Your Speeches Cogent and Memorable.

Epilogue: A Few Last Words: Speechmaking As Behavior - and Why the Principles of Good Speechwriting Are What They Are.

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Published by Pearson (September 9th 1997) - Copyright © 1998