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Read and listen

Throughout the book, I'll be sharing with you some of my experiences and observations, not only as a speech writer but also as one who has read and listened to many, many speeches—some of them good, some of them bad, and a few of them truly great. I believe that listening to and reading good speeches is an excellent way to learn to write and deliver a speech. It has been my pleasure, through the miracle of recording, to hear the voices of some of the great speakers of the twentieth century. For this I have used a set of tapes titled "Great Speeches of the 20th Century." The boxed set is available from Rhino Records, Inc. I highly recommend it.

When I cannot listen to a speech, I enjoy reading one. Collections of speeches are available in books and on CD-ROM. A recent collection, compiled by William Safire, New York Times columnist and self-described language maven, is Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History. This is especially interesting and useful because Safire introduces each selection with insightful commentary.


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