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Chapter 5. Organize Sort Out Your Ideas ... > In Summary: Take Time to Organize— I...

In Summary: Take Time to Organize— It Carries a Lot of Power

Great orators realize the power of good openings, clear and persuasive story lines, and inspiring closings. Here is an especially effective closing.

In 1951, at the height of the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur was relieved of duty in a controversial move by President Harry S. Truman. Because MacArthur had many supporters, he was invited to deliver a speech to the U. S. Congress. This is how he closed: "I am closing my fifty-two years of military service. When I joined the army even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished. But I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that "old soldiers never die; they just fade away." And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away—an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave me the light to see that duty. Goodbye.[21]


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