Here’s part 5 in my 6-part series of notes from the Speechwriters Conference I attended:
Highlights of Ted Sorensen’s keynote address on great speeches
Sorensen, former speech writer and counselor to President John F. Kennedy, spoke about the importance of speechwriting and speechwriters:
• The best inaugural speeches of all time –
o Thomas Jefferson
o Abraham Lincoln’s second
o Franklin Roosevelt’s second
o John F. Kennedy’s
A solid method for writing:
1. Outline – where are you going?
2. Headline – what will be reported?
3. Front line – what’s the most important point? Make it clear.
4. Sidelines – quotes, poems, humor
5. Bottom line – a great ending to make the speech memorable for the audience
Good speeches are based upon:
1. Clarity – be clear!
2. Charity – praise the audience
3. Brevity – anything worth saying can be said in 20-25 minutes, according to JFK
4. Levity – to open the speech or sprinkled throughout
You can provide:
• Full text – best way to be careful when everything you say is going to affect things seriously.
• Outline or notes – can serve as a security blanket for reference
• Pneumonic – Provide key words of the speech to remind them of the key points. Use the first letters of the key words