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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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Decide on the purpose

Perhaps the most important consideration in the selection of a topic and in writing your speech is the purpose. What do you want the audience to do or think or feel as a result of what you say? This is a question you should ask not only yourself but also your sponsors. They had a reason for inviting you to speak and they ought to know what they want the speech to accomplish.

It is a good idea to write down a brief statement of purpose and keep it at hand as you write your speech.

From my experience in reading and writing speeches, I have concluded that there are six basic purposes of a speech:

  1. To entertain

  2. To inform

  3. To inspire

  4. To motivate

  5. To advocate

  6. To convince or persuade

These can overlap, and of course a speech can have more ...

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