The Lost Art of the Great Speech | Richard Dowis

Summary of: The Lost Art of the Great Speech: How to Write One–How to Deliver It
By: Richard Dowis


Ever wondered what makes for a great speech? In ‘The Lost Art of the Great Speech’, Richard Dowis equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to write and deliver powerful, engaging speeches. Through this book summary, you’ll learn how to seize speaking opportunities, assess whether to accept or decline an invitation, and cultivate a purposeful speech. Moreover, you’ll discover practical ways to develop a compelling outline and how to effectively present your ideas. Improving your public speaking skills can bring about remarkable changes in your personal and professional life; let’s dive in to unveil the secrets to enthralling audiences with your oratory talent.

The Power of Public Speaking

The ability to speak in public can have a significant impact on your personal and professional growth. Winston Churchill’s speeches during WWII demonstrate the power of language to influence events. With practice, anyone can improve their communication skills, boost their business, and promote their beliefs. Public speaking is an opportunity for personal growth, allowing individuals to improve their posture, diction, and voice modulation. Rather than fearing public speaking, seeking out opportunities to speak can help individuals overcome their fears and develop these essential skills.

Mastering the Art of Public Speaking

When it comes to public speaking engagements, it’s important to only agree to topics that you have expertise in. To come across as knowledgeable, you must possess knowledge on the subject and be prepared for any questions that may come your way. It’s important to ensure that the event organizers understand your qualifications and suggest alternate topics if necessary. If you’re invited as part of a panel, make sure to contribute fresh and unique ideas to avoid repeating others’ points. And lastly, timing is crucial – aim to speak earlier rather than later, and ensure that you have enough (but not too much) time to deliver your speech effectively.

Six Intentions of Effective Speeches

To deliver a speech effectively, both the speaker and the event organizers need to have a clear understanding of its purpose. This can be achieved by creating a statement of purpose. Most speeches fall into one of six categories: to inform, to entertain, to inspire, to motivate, to advocate, or to persuade. While entertainment is rarely the sole intention, effective speakers use humor and anecdotes to enhance other purposes.

Preparing for a Successful Speech

Before accepting a speaking invitation, it’s crucial to get complete and written information about the event. Make sure to learn about the audience, their demographic, history and mission of the organization hosting the event. Additionally, get contact information of the person in charge, and visit the venue in advance to check the seating configuration, acoustics, and equipment if needed. To ensure a successful speech, ask how to pronounce everyone’s name and bring extra batteries and supplies. Finally, ask for a pitcher of water and glass immediately you arrive.

The Benefits of Writing Down Your Speech

When it comes to public speaking, the art of delivering a well-written speech is a disciplined skill that requires practice. While some may think that making up a speech on the spot can cure a monotonous delivery, the real cure is writing your speech word for word. Doing so can help you stay focused, be specific and discover new insights and ideas as you write. Additionally, writing it down ahead of time allows you to practice and give copies to others. So, always remember to write down your speech to reap the benefits that come with it.

Crafting a Winning Speech

Crafting a winning speech requires careful planning and organization. Creating a speech outline is an effective tool for keeping your ideas on track, but it should not be viewed as a rigid structure. As you work on your speech, creativity and flexibility are important to ensure that your ideas and main points flow smoothly. Here are seven steps to follow when drafting a speech outline: research your topic, prepare a statement of purpose, define your desired outcome, brainstorm your points, prioritize your list, identify your main point, and organize your points and supporting arguments in order. When organizing your speech, it’s essential to consider your target audience and their level of understanding. Use a logical and easily understandable approach that supports your main point and appeals to your audience. Remember to announce your thesis early in your speech and summarize it at the end. You can also use techniques such as thought modules, cause-and-effect approaches, or the big bang to structure your speech. By following these steps and techniques, you can craft a winning speech that captivates and inspires your audience.

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