Highlights from the Speechwriters Conference, Part 5

Here’s part 5 in my 6-part series of notes from the Speechwriters Conference I attended:

ted-sorensenHighlights 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

2 comments on “Highlights from the Speechwriters Conference, Part 5

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