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Father Kit Cool Gun Garth

What makes a Great Speech?

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With the upcoming MLK Holiday, I thought a little retrospective thinking would be appropriate.

 

Is it merely a by-line quote that makes such a speech locked in our minds?

"Four score and seven years ago" - "Ask not what what your Country can do for you, ask what you can do for your Country" - "I have a Dream

 

Is it the timing or place that the speech is given?

Battlefield - Inauguration - Lincoln Memorial

 

Certainly based on the length of such a speech we never recall it's full content, yet they go down in History all the same.

Here are probably the three (3) best examples of such a speech. 

 

The Gettysburg Address - Abraham Lincoln -  November 19, 1863

 

                       2117677948_AbrahamLincoln.jpg.9ae5a4a74e63b7e044f4b9bba7b0a8c2.jpg

1676980596_GettysburgAddress.thumb.jpg.cdbecd15f91295bff02f34ff109294d0.jpg

 

Presidential Inaugural Speech - John F. Kennedy - January 20, 1961

 

                            jfkinaug.jpg.1127ccb19d5fe8656f08b0d7f749943e.jpg

266428512_JFLInauguralAddress.thumb.jpg.796b2193ebf572871c7bb6fdeef787c2.jpg

 

 

"I Have A Dream" Speech - Martin Luther King - August 28, 1963

 

                           1309202507_MartinLutherKingJr.thumb.jpg.af1976f475efeb72cf582fc1a2ac6a30.jpg

1532721511_MLKIHaveADreamSpeech.jpg.d5d37bf0eac12c9c0f1461345db19aad.jpg

Full text here:     https://www.archives.gov/files/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf

 

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21 minutes ago, Father Kit Cool Gun Garth said:

With the upcoming MLK Holiday, I thought a little retrospective thinking would be appropriate.

 

Is it merely a by-line quote that makes such a speech locked in our minds?

"Four score and seven years ago" - "Ask not what what your Country can do for you, ask what you can do for your Country" - "I have a Dream

 

Is it the timing or place that the speech is given?

Battlefield - Inauguration - Lincoln Memorial

 

Certainly based on the length of such a speech we never recall it's full content, yet they go down in History all the same.

Here are probably the three (3) best examples of such a speech. 

 

The Gettysburg Address - Abraham Lincoln -  November 19, 1863

 

                       2117677948_AbrahamLincoln.jpg.9ae5a4a74e63b7e044f4b9bba7b0a8c2.jpg

1676980596_GettysburgAddress.thumb.jpg.cdbecd15f91295bff02f34ff109294d0.jpg

 

Presidential Inaugural Speech - John F. Kennedy - January 20, 1961

 

                            jfkinaug.jpg.1127ccb19d5fe8656f08b0d7f749943e.jpg

266428512_JFLInauguralAddress.thumb.jpg.796b2193ebf572871c7bb6fdeef787c2.jpg

 

 

"I Have A Dream" Speech - Martin Luther King - August 28, 1963

 

                           1309202507_MartinLutherKingJr.thumb.jpg.af1976f475efeb72cf582fc1a2ac6a30.jpg

1532721511_MLKIHaveADreamSpeech.jpg.d5d37bf0eac12c9c0f1461345db19aad.jpg

Full text here:     https://www.archives.gov/files/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf

 

Brevity

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Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

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Tell the people what they want to hear.

 

 

 

Delivered by the late Noah S. Soggy Sweat, Jr., former Mississippi legislator, lawyer and judge, in 1952 when the Mississippi Legislature was considering legalizing liquor.


"My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey.


" If when you say whiskey, you mean the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation and despair and shame and helplessness and hopelessness  then certainly I am against it.


" But if, when you say whiskey, you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman's step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy and his happiness and to forget, if only for a little while, life's great tragedies and heartaches and sorrows; if you mean the drink the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our pitiful aged and infirm, to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.


" This is my stand, and I will not compromise."

 

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It’s long at 34 minutes, but General MacArthur’s farewell to West Point is moving in it’s message and memorable for his pace and style of delivery (no notes).  It’s on YouTube but the link has problems so you will have to search for it.

 

Duty, Honor, Country 

Edited by J-BAR #18287
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What makes a Great Speech?


I find that in my line of work the part of any speech that gets me excited are the words “In closing...”

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If a single line is what allows you to capture and remember a great speech so much the better. But if you look at the first 3 mentioned. It's the person who truly represents what the people listening want to hear. The location can bring about an energy, a soufulness, a meaning to the reason for the speech. Lincoln at the gravesite of the 1,000's of Union soldiers who gave their life for the cause, Kennedy, standing in front of the US Capitol Building, the very heart and soul of our Republic. MLK, at the Lincoln Memorial, facing the Washington monument, and again the US Capitol Building. All 3 sites evoke an emotion before anyone speaks. And finally words that the common man can understand, relate to and embrace.  Not a single line, but a composite of many inspiring things. 

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...to answer your question; clear, concise, and to the point.

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If the speech isn't anchored in the meat of a truly great principle of society, it's just a verbal confection. It can be admired for how pretty it is, or how sweet it tastes, but it does nothing to nourish or sustain.

 

On the other hand, if it is ineptly put together or poorly finished, it's like burnt and barely edible steak; it might have value in it's content, but is difficult to chew over, and hard to swallow. It might be good at its basic level, but nearly unpalatable.

 

The great speeches are like great liquors. Quality contents blended and distilled by masters of the craft, inviting a return to enjoy them and inspiring reflection as they are savored.

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48 minutes ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

If the speech isn't anchored in the meat of a truly great principle of society, it's just a verbal confection. It can be admired for how pretty it is, or how sweet it tastes, but it does nothing to nourish or sustain.

 

On the other hand, if it is ineptly put together or poorly finished, it's like burnt and barely edible steak; it might have value in it's content, but is difficult to chew over, and hard to swallow. It might be good at its basic level, but nearly unpalatable.

 

The great speeches are like great liquors. Quality contents blended and distilled by masters of the craft, inviting a return to enjoy them and inspiring reflection as they are savored.

 

Ozark,

      Your response just made me hungry. :blush:

      Thank you for the analogy;)

 

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I vote for a positive approach and brevity.....and don't talk down to me.  Odds are I'm smarter than you are (who ever you are) and I resent being talked down to.

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I'll admire any speech actually penned by the orator. I dislike ones that were written by someone else when the orator is the one who gets the credit. Same goes for pop stars who don't actually write their own hit songs.

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9 minutes ago, Sixgun Sheridan said:

Same goes for pop stars who don't actually write their own hit songs.

Do you also dislike actors who did not write the play they are doing?

 

Seems to me to be the same thing.

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A good speech is like a short skirt. Long enough to cover the important parts, but short  enough to keep it interesting!

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A good opening line and a good closing line, close together.

 

Duffield

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