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On Speaking Well: How to Give a Speech With Style, Substance, and Clarity

On Speaking Well: How to Give a Speech With Style, Substance, and Clarity
Author: Peggy Noonan
ISBN 13: 9780060987404
ISBN 10: 60987405
Edition: unknown
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: 1999-02-17
Format: Paperback
Pages: 224
List Price: $13.99

For anyone who fears the thought of writing and giving a speech—be it to business associates, or at a wedding—help is at hand. Acclaimed presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan shares her secrets to becoming a confidence, persuasive speaker demystifying topics including:

  • Finding you own authentic voice

  • Developing a text that interest you

  • Acing the all-important first paragraph

  • Using logic to move your audience

  • Creating, developing, and reinventing the "core speech" for diverse audiences

  • Strengthening your speech with a vital element: humor

  • Winnowing your thought down to the essentials

  • Handling professional jargon, clichés, and the sound bite syndrome

  • Presenting your speech in the best way

  • Collecting intellectual income—conversing your speech treasures

  • Breaking all the rules and still succeeding

  • Reading for inspiration—how to use the excellence of others

Complete with lessons, tips and memorable examples, On Speaking Well shows us how to create forceful, persuasive, relevant speeches that will resonate with our audiences. Engaging, informative, and always entertaining, this is undoubtedly the authoritative how-to guide for anyone writing or giving a speech

Publishers Weekly

Noonan (What I Saw at the Revolution), George Bush's most publicized speechwriter, describes her book accurately as "advice and anecdotes about the writing and giving of speeches." Not political speeches, which are probably an art form unto themselves, but the kind of speeches most people are at some time called upon to deliver. Noonan states her advice clearly: No speech should last more than 20 minutes; the text should be written out (no ad-libbing from outlines); humor is essential; read your draft speech aloud (speaking is different from writing); keep sentences short (the audience is hearing it, not reading it). One section deals with the special requirements of writing for other people. Shorter sections deal with situations such as toasts, tributes and eulogies. There are also tips on handling questions, walking up to the platform and meeting the audience afterward. The anecdotes deal chiefly with Noonan's adventures on the political circuit and in the White House with Presidents Reagan and Bush and are the fluffy sort of things the author herself probably uses facing audiences. The advice is practical and fairly obvious, but if speaking in public is indeed most people's Number One Fear, this is a calming, logical and sometimes entertaining guide. (Feb.)