With endorsements from two of the largest and most influential public speaking groups -- the National Speakers Association and Toastmasters International -- this book is written by an expert speechwriter whose eloquent voice leads readers through the difficult process of writing a great speech. In these pages a seasoned speechwriter reveals his trade secrets - from analyzing the needs of an audience to leaving them with a satisfying sense of closure - as he guides readers through the process of planning, writing, and honing an outstanding speech.

Readers will discover effective ways to connect with an audience, explain concepts, and support ideas, learn how to time and cut a speech when necessary. The bottom line? When readers have finished this book, they will be well on their way to making their next big speech a big success! Writing Great Speeches is for anyone -- from a businessperson to a community member -- who wants to learn the skills necessary to write and deliver a memorable speech.

From the author:

This book is unlike any other on the market. It's the product of my training in linguistics (PhD, University of Chicago), my 14 years as a college professor, and my 22 years as a professional speechwriter.

It covers all the key issues in speechwriting and speechmaking -- focusing on purpose; analyzing the audience; selecting and arranging content; style; clarity; coherence; word choice; and delivery -- by drawing on my linguistic insights into the composition of speeches and the use of language in actual, real-world settings.

The "professional techniques" you'll learn are the foundation of my livelihood. The hundreds of speeches produced via the principles in this book were successful: they accomplished their intended purposes; they contributed to the stature of the speaker and his/her company; they were well-received, quoted from, and published. You'll find examples of them throughout the book.

My techniques work for me, and they can work for you, whether you're a student of rhetoric or speech communication; an educator; a business or professional person; a member of a civic or charitable organization; a politician; a member of the clergy; or an aspiring Toastmaster or professional speaker.

I'll show you how to clarify your purpose, organize your speech, make effective use of speech rhythms, acquire quick credibility, produce pithy generalizations on almost any subject, be correct in any situation, control the length of your speech, use cliches and buzzwords effectively (I'm a linguist, remember - I'm concerned with what works), and decide whether to use a script, notes, or other means of support. I'll show you fifteen ways to begin a speech, six ways to end, and seven behaviors to avoid in the first minute after you start talking.

"Writing Great Speeches" will help you learn a key -- and highly underrated -- life skill.

The importance of being able to write and deliver your own speech goes far beyond "better business presentations," important as these may be to your career.

You can also participate more fully and effectively in your local or state government, your civic or religious group, your social club or organization. You can create eloquent, professional-sounding remarks for your boss' retirement, your daughter's confirmation, your nephew's wedding, your grandchild's bar/bat mitzvah. You can do your own tributes, award acceptances, welcoming speeches, or introductions of guest speakers or performers. You can even help your kids with THEIR talks and presentations.

Every time you do write and deliver your own speech, you'll stand out as a person with the relatively rare ability to think and speak clearly. Even a few minutes of well-chosen and well-crafted remarks can make a strong impression.

The professional techniques in "Writing Great Speeches" can open up a wide range of opportunities for you to share your thoughts with your fellow human beings, to arouse their feelings, or to urge them to action. They'll help you use language to create change in your life and in the lives of others.

"Speechwriter extraordinaire Alan Perlman gives you everything you need to produce a perfect performance every time. If Bob Dole had read this book, he'd be living on Pennsylvania Avenue."

- Fraser P. Seitel, Managing Partner, Emerald Partners

"Alan M. Perlman's book could have been entitled 'The Ultimate Speaker's Manual.' It is filled with technical suggestions, practical counsel, and tools that any speaker can use immediately."

- Russ Johnston, DTM, Toastmasters International Accredited speaker.

"In a style that is easy to read, Alan Perlman clearly outlines the tips and techniques for writing winning speeches - every time! This book is a must-read for every speaker."

- Mark Brown, ATM, Toastmasters Intl 1995 World Champion of Public Speaking

"Alan Perlman's fresh, practical insights into such speech basics as purpose, audience, structure, and style should prove helpful to a student, an instructor, and the speaker struggling to put together a talk for next week. Perlman's extensive examples from his experience as a professional speechwriter prove that he practices what he teaches. His chapter on ceremonial speeches is worth the price of the book."

- Jerry Tarver, author of The Corporate Speechwriter's Handbook

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