Speechwriting in Perspective
Writing for the spoken word is a special discipline; it requires that speechwriters' products be written primarily, although not exclusively, to be heard, not read. Speeches are better cast in simple, direct and often short sentences that can be easily understood by listeners. Rhetorical devices such as repetition, variation, cadence and balance are available to, and should be used by, the speechwriter. It is important for speechwriters to analyse audiences according to factors such as age; gender; culture; profession and income level; size of audience; political affiliation, if any; and on the occasion for, or purpose of, the speech. Most effective speeches do not exceed 20 minutes in length. After researching a topic, speechwriters must prepare an outline from which the speech will be developed. They should strive to maintain a clear theme throughout the speech. Most speeches will have a three-part structure consisting of an introduction, a body and a conclusion. The accepted style of contemporary American public address is natural, direct, low key, casual and conversational. This puts the listeners at ease and promotes a sense of community between the audience and speaker. Punctuation should reflect the sound structure of the speech, reinforcing the rhythm and pace of actual speech. Clarity of expression is as important a consideration in speech grammar as rigid adherence to the rules for written law. This book presents the essentials of speechwriting. Preface; Speechwriting in Perspective: A Brief Guide to Effective and Persuasive Communication (Thomas H. Neale); Public Speaking and Speechwriting: Selected References (Jean M. Bowers); Index.
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