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Chapter 6. Fun with SPAM > Situation - Pg. 40

Fun with SPAM 40 Lincoln further noted the situation when he said, "We are met on a great battle field of that war." This statement reveals that the audience was actually standing on the site of the conflict. So far, so good--but there's even more to the situation. Talk Soup Situation is the time and place where you deliver your speech. Situation can be simply where and when , but it often embraces the historical circumstances as well. 1. 2. 3. Lincoln realized that the entire history of the United States formed the backdrop for his speech. He summarized this history when he noted that America had been "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Further, he knew that the Battle of Gettysburg had strained the ties that held the Union to- gether. Last, he had taken a great deal of heat for the war and his role as commander-in-chief. Lincoln brought all this knowledge of the situation to his speech. This reveals that Lincoln was concerned with far more about his speaking situation than simply where and when. In the same way, you must carefully analyze each of your public speaking situations. What happens if you don't have a handle on the situation? You'll miss the chance to make valuable connections between the situation and your speech. As a result, your speech will lose impact, no matter how effective your delivery. Walk This Way While we're here, why not read the entire Gettysburg Address? It's a classic model of memorable prose: Four-score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, con- ceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be here dedicated to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.