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SAGE Publications
The Political Speechwriter's Companion: A Guide for Writers and Speakers / Edition 1

The Political Speechwriter's Companion: A Guide for Writers and Speakers / Edition 1

by Robert A. Lehrman
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Other guides on public speaking focus on how to convey knowledge or understanding. While it is useful to master such informative speech, other goals and strategies are essential for a politician: publicity, for one. To communicate optimism, to rely on material written by others, to speak repeatedly, day in and day out. Above all, politicians need to persuade their audiences. They can use facts or appeal to values, but in the end, they must urge action. Politicians are advocates.

Robert Lehrman, former speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore, offers both speakers and writers the LAWS of political speech. He explains how speakers can deliver:
• Language the audience will understand and remember,
• Anecdotes that make listeners laugh and cry,
• Wit that pokes fun at opponents but also shows their own lighter side, and
• Support in the way of statistics, examples, and testimony.

With how-to guidance in each chapter—including annotated speeches—Lehrman shows how to apply the LAWS at every step, even providing an entire chapter on delivery. Lehrman also opens up his Rolodex to readers, interviewing speechwriting luminaries who offer up their best advice in a “Behind the Scenes” feature. “As Delivered” boxes point to Web links for watching notable speeches, while a handy “Speechwriter’s Checklist” concludes every chapter.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604265491
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 10/28/2009
Pages: 388
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Robert A. Lehrman served as Chief Speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore and, in 2004, as Chief Speechwriter for the Democratic National Committee during his more than three decades of experience writing speeches. He has written for political figures, celebrities, heads of nonprofits, and corporate CEOs, most recently as speechwriter to the Chairman and CEO of Pfizer. He created and co-teaches the political speechwriting course at American University, where he was awarded the 2010 University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Appointment. He speaks often at other campuses, conferences, and associations, on the topic of political speechwriting. Author of a number of award-winning novels and coauthor of a highly acclaimed non-fiction book for young adults, Lehrman has a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop, where he studied with Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Yates

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Speechwriting Matters
Does Speechwriting Matter?
Why This Book?
Why Focus Only on Political Life?
Chapter 1. The Political Speech
Politicians Must Speak More
Politicians Must Persuade
Politicians Must Be Liked
Politicians Must Stay Upbeat
Politicians Must Speak to Average Folks
Politicians Must Get Quoted
Final Words
Chapter 2. Persuasion
Persuasion: The Questions
Persuasion: The Modes
Appealing to Reason
Appealing to Emotion
Appealing through Characterization
Final Words
Chapter 3. Audiences
Who Are Your Audiences?
What Makes Each Audience Unique?
What Do Audiences Feel about the Speaker?
Final Words
Chapter 4. Research
Researching the Event
Researching the Ideas
Researching the Poetry
Final Words
Chapter 5. Structure
Why Monroe Works Well in Politics
Other Structures
Monroe Plus
Monroe in Practice: Four Tips
Final Words
Chapter 6. Language People Understand
Writing for Clarity
Reading versus Hearing
Final Words
Chapter 7. Language People Remember
Making Language Vivid
Making Language Rhythmic
Final Words
Chapter 8. Anecdote
Relevant, Remembered, Ready to Act
Types and Tips
Final Words
Chapter 9. Wit
Writing to Make Them Laugh
How to Do It
Types and Tips
Final Words
Chapter 10. Support
Using Evidence
Types of Evidence
Making Evidence Memorable
Arguing Responsibly
Final Words
Chapter 11. Beginnings
Praise, Thanks, Acknowledgments
Getting Serious and Stating the Purpose
Final Words
Chapter 12. Problems
Final Words
Chapter 13. Solutions
Inspire Solutions with Language
Inspire Solutions through Ethos
The Three Ps: Proposal, Persuasion, Punch Line
Final Words
Chapter 14. Writing Conclusions
Four-Part Close: The Steps
Four-Part Close: Strategy
Final Words
Chapter 15. Delivery
Elements of Delivery
Delivery’s Best Practice: Practice
Expanding Your Horizons
Final Words
Chapter 16. Ethics
Misleading Listeners
Speechwriting: Unethical by Definition?
Final Words
Chapter 17. The Uneasy Partnership: Advice for Speakers and Writers
For Speakers: What Speechwriters Need from You
For Speechwriters: What Speakers Need from You
Final Words
Chapter 18. Final, Final Words
Appendix. A Speech for Almost Every Occasion
Index of Speakers
About the Authors

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