I love this site! The 35 Greatest Speeches in History.
If you’re going to be a good speaker, there are three key things you need to do:
- Go to watch great speakers perform. This is the reason I go to conventions hosted by my speaking community, (National Speakers Association (NSA), the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS)).
- Study great speeches. You’ll find 35 of the top ones on the above site.
- Write and practice whenever you can. Toastmasters International is a great venue for doing this. There are chapters all over the world.
Doing the first two will have you immersed in the style of powerful speakers—how they use words, as well as in their performance. There are many who think that great speeches are all about performance, but this isn’t the case. It’s the words and structure that are most important. Even today, you can imagine these past speeches through taking the time to read the works themselves.
Great speeches are symphonies.
Great speeches are symphonies. The writing is meant to be heard rather than read. They’re inspiring and memorable. They typically spur people to action.
There are lots of linguistic tools you can use to craft your speech—similes, alliteration, etc. and I’m going to do a series of blogs on these very soon. If you’re not a member of my list, sign up now and you’ll automatically be notified.
In the meantime, mark the above site and spend some time going through the great works of the past.
Great speeches make history. It’s through words that we inspire others to action. The right message at the right time delivered in a compelling manner can change the world.