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The Lost Art of the Great Speech: How to Write It * How to Deliver It by Richard Dowis

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Topic criteria

In many instances, you will be asked to speak on a subject of your choice, but if you're assigned a topic that you're uncomfortable with, feel free to suggest an alternative. In either case, there are several criteria you should consider.

First, of course, your topic should be appropriate for the occasion, the event, and the audience. A young minister was invited to speak to a group of elderly men and women. The subject he chose was "The Sin of Lust." After the speech, a sweet little old lady came forward to shake the minister's hand. "That was a nice message, Sonny," she said, "but with this group, it would be more appropriate to talk about rust."

If you do suggest a topic that's different from the one the organization asked for, ...

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