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What Makes a Good Speech?好演讲稿的关键是什么?

What Makes a Good Speech? 好演讲稿的关键是什么?

The success of a speech is often attributed to the skill of the speaker, with merit being given to speakers who are confident, articulate, knowledgeable and able to deliver a speech with conviction.

But often it is not the speakers who write these moving speeches, it is a speechwriter. And one industry in which this practise is common is that of politics.

Barack Obama

President Obama often receives praise for his speeches

So what does it take to be a political speechwriter?

Well according to a recent job advertisement from the US Embassy in Britain, a political speechwriter needs to have exceptional interpersonal skills, be detail oriented and able to demonstrate a deep knowledge of their subject.

They must also work closely with speakers and be able to relate to their style.

Some believe that the best speechwriters have an inherent talent, a natural creative instinct, and that speechwriting is an art form.

So what about those of us who do not possess such genius? Can we still produce successful speeches?

In an interview with the BBC, Dr Max Atkinson (a communications specialist) outlined a number of speechwriting techniques. He also illustrated how these techniques have been used in historic speeches.

One such technique is introducing contrast. This is extremely useful when presenting a positive spin on a negative issue. One of the most famous examples of this can be seen in a speech given by former American President John F Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."

Another technique is the use of three-part lists. Dr Atkinson explains that this can be an excellent way of adding finality or confirming a statement. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was a fan of this technique. One of his most famous campaign slogans was "education, education, education".

These techniques can be used like tools - they can be chosen from a toolbox and applied as necessary. A few other techniques you might find in a speechwriter's toolbox might be the use of imagery, anecdotes and alliteration.

So next time you have to prepare a speech or presentation, try applying one or more of these techniques and see if you have what it takes to be a winning speechwriter.

Vocabulary

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