Free Essay

Great Speeches in Time


Submitted By jrameriz18
Words 664
Pages 3
Jada Rameriz
Putnam Frosh Writing
F Block ELA

Great speakers have a way with words. Subtle patterns flow throughout their speeches in ways that even they might not realize. It can be clearly seen with some of the greatest speakers seen; Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Jimmy Valvano, and Steve Jobs. All of them share common threads throughout their speeches, and that’s what makes them great. Their unique tones and methods of conveying their message shows their excellence. By use of tone and sharing personal stories or alluding to other texts, great speakers convey their messages in many ways.

In his speech, Martin Luther King Jr. creates a distinct and professional style by use of literary devices to convey his message. MLK’s use of literary devices provides emphasis and strengthens his hopeful, unified, and well-prepared speech. MLK often uses allusions to different texts within his speech in order to get a point across, such as referencing historical texts to bring out feelings of patriotism in the audience. MLK’s message is one of unity and equality, which is eloquently proposed to the audience through his well-usage of literary devices. By unifying his speech in this manner and showing different texts as equal in value, MLK also approaches the audience with the idea that they are all equally as important as well.

RFK’s speech on the death of MLK has a very somber and mourning tone, but still proves it’s greatness despite the speaker’s unpreparedness. As the speech was unprepared, RFK does not purposefully use many literary devices as MLK did, though he does on occasion use repetition and allusion to other texts and events. RFK’s message is one of passing the torch; one can kill the messenger, but never the message.

Jimmy Valvano’s speech is similar to RFK’s speech in the matter that is had not been previously prepared, but it is also much more casual in comparison to other speeches. Valvano has a comforting presence when he speaks. His message is one of living life to the fullest, and he conveys this message by often repeating three things of importance. The reptation of the number three puts emphasis on the three topics he mentions, which directly relate to his message of life. The speech’s tone, in itself, is similar to the three things Valvano advises the audience to do everyday. He advises the audience to laugh, think, and cry. Similarly, Valvano’s speech can move you to do these things. His optimism, hope, and stories from his life make one want to smile and laugh, his personal connection with the audience and informative advice pushes the audience to think, and his emotional stories moves the audience to tears. Valvano creates a bond with the audience though these stories., which provides for a more emotionally impacting speech.

Similar to Jimmy Valvano’s speech, Steve Jobs’ speech also shares personal stories, which helps him connect more with the audience. Similarly to Valvano’s as well, Jobs brings up the idea of threes once more, this time with his three personal stories. Steve Jobs’ message tells the audience to trust intuition and live life. Jobs’ speech is still different, however, in the prospect that Jobs’ is more professional and practiced, elegantly weaving a tale of his life in a way to influence the audience to trust his words and take his advice; stay hungry, stay foolish.

As previously mentioned, many great speeches share common threads. RFK and Jimmy Valvano’s speeches are both detailed and emotional, despite being unprepared. Steve Jobs and Jimmy Valvano both create bonds with the audience by sharing stories from their lives. MLK and Steve Jobs’ prepared speeches are eloquent and professional, clearly proving their own personal messages. Each of their individual methods of applying literary devices helps convey their message and add to the tone of their speech. These are what add depth to the speech, and so are the underlying common threads that make speeches such as these so great.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

The Two Great Speaches

...The Two Great Speeches Throughout history many speeches have astonished humanity, two specifically, are very much alike and served the same purpose yet they occurred at different times in history. Pericles’ Funeral Oration, which happened between 431-404 BC, and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which took place on November 19 1863, share several common aspects. Both speeches pertained to honor the fallen heroes of the Peloponnesian War and the United States Civil War. Due to the fact that both Pericles and Lincoln were politicians we can infer that they were experts in getting their point across to the masses. Pericles’ Funeral Oration happened thousands of years before Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, however the fact that both of them were meant to redefine war and its purpose made them very comparable. There is a reason these two speeches can be compared; by looking at the bigger picture, analyzing the similarities, and meaning of the dialogue it can be said the speeches were intended to portray both wars as a necessary method to reestablish the pillars for which each nation and/or city was founded upon. Both of these speeches are without a doubt, an important piece of history, as they tell the story of the aftermath of the battles that had taken place and the ones that were yet to come. The Funeral Oration by Pericles displays the difference those who had died in the battles made and how much Athenians valued them, enough to publicly honor them. According to...

Words: 1383 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Huey Long's Speech

...millions of depressed common citizens, and was highly supported throughout the country. The background of the time period, the popularity of Huey Long, and the influence of his speech help account for its significant impact. The historical background and time period of Long’s speech help account for his exigence. Huey Long gave this historic speech February 23, 1934. During this period of time the United States was experiencing an...

Words: 1033 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

How Winston Churchill Uses Language to Engage with His Audience

...patterns vary with his different contexts. In Churchill’s speeches, he uses language to create a sense of unity and motivation while subtly adding some words of wisdom and witty phrases. Churchill’s short quotes have a very contrasting tone to his public speeches. His short quotes mainly have witty catchphrases and are said in a jokingly manner while his public speeches are more formal. Churchill’s public speeches present him as a sophisticated and motivational character. During wartime, the ability to show passion and to boost the morale of an audience is of great importance. Churchill shows throughout his speeches that he has this ability when he uses inclusive language to create a rapport with his audience. ‘We have before us’ indicates a situation, but that ‘we’ have not yet got there. The situation may be overpowering for any single man, but because of Churchill’s use of inclusive language it is a situation that can be handled together. The more people who join the war effort the lesser the burden has to be for each man, woman and child. ‘Our cause’, once again reiterates the feeling of an equally shared burden. Most noticeably in Churchill’s Finest Hour speech he uses an immense amount of inclusive language. The patriotism shown by Churchill in all of his speeches is strong and motivational and satisfying for his audience. ‘Superior quality of our ships’, additionally in most of his speeches he uses the great power of the British Empire as a compelling argument for both...

Words: 859 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Ay Lmao you will have to present a speech whether in English or in your other subjects. I personally hate speeches as I am a very shy person but what can you do about it? Well, we can learn from the experts in this field whose speeches were given many years ago but their voices still linger today. So why does it still have an impact today? It is because of their abilities to express a distinctive voice throughout their speeches. What is a distinctive voice? How are great ideas communicated? What do you want your audience to think, feel, act or do? I am here to tell you all these things so listen up as I try to convince you that effective speeches require a distinctive voice. I will explore the effects of distinctive voices in Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, John.F.Kennedy’s Inaugural address and Nelson Mandela’s Inaugural address. Passion is a fundamental aspect of speeches and it comes through the sustained use language techniques, which Martin Luther King Jr explored in his ‘I have a dream’ speech. MLKJ was a passionate leader and a civil rights activist who pushed for racial equality in America in 1963.King’s lavish use of metaphors such as ‘America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked insufficient funds’ which signifies how America has overlooked the Negros, is a clear representation of how distinctive voices need great ideas. One of the key ideas King proposed was racial discrimination for instance ‘the Negro is still languishing...

Words: 1161 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...a factor in everything we do from socializing to getting out of a speeding ticket. Good communication skills will help anybody out with getting a good job and help them move up the ladder. Speeches are a very good way to improve your communication skills; it forces you to face your fears of speaking and ultimately improves your speaking. Speeches have never been my favorite assignment do to in class. I am a shy person and talking in front a group of people is a little nerve-racking. I am a great communicator when I am talking to my friends or family, but talking in front of a group of people is much harder. My parents say I mumble and I believe I mumble to. That is an issue I need to work on, and will only be fixed if I talk more. I also do not like reading work that I have done. I will gladly give a speech that was not written by me. I believe other people would describe me a good communicator even though I have never asked somebody if I am a good communicator. People get what I have to say so that is why I think I am a good communicator. I have never done public speaking only a few speeches in high school. I did not get good grades on those speeches in high school because I did not do enough research and did not pick topics that I knew. I hope I can improve my speeches a lot this semester. The biggest goal I would like to accomplish this semester is public speaking apprehension. I would like to eliminate or greatly reduce my apprehension. I will do this...

Words: 807 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Stylistic Devices

...INVESTIGATION INTO STYLISTIC DEVICES IN POLITICAL SPEECHES BY US PRESIDENTS Examiner 1: ……………………………………………………… Examiner 2: ……………………………………………………… Field Study Code : THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE : 60.22.15 This thesis will be presented to the Examining Committee at the University of Danang on October 30th 2010 M.A. THESIS (SUMMARY) This thesis is available found at the library of DANANG - 2010 - College of Foreign Languages, University of Danang. - Information Resources Center, University of Danang. 3 Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1. RATIONALE The effectiveness of a speech depends on many factors, including the mood of the crowd, the ability of the orator, the situation the crowd confronts, the topic of the speech and the using of words- the using of stylistic devices. The goal of any political speech is persuasion - you want to bring the crowd around to your point of view, whether that means convincing them to vote for you. So the frequent and wide use of stylistic devices is an important characteristic of political speeches which is an effective way to make these speeches more attractive, lively and more persuasive. A stylistic device is an example of the figurative use of words, which produces a particularly rhetorical effect when people use the language creatively in a specified context so all politicians use stylistic devices in political speeches. In the realm of discourse analysis, the typical linguistic features of political speeches have so far been the focus of attention...

Words: 5898 - Pages: 24

Premium Essay

Outlook on Public Speaking

...Whitney July 28, 2014 SPC 205 A01 Mal Reeder Outlook on Public Speaking In order for public speaking to become a skill, there are a few areas in which I need to improve to make it a suitable strength. Public speaking is not a weakness for me but I would like to transform it into one of my strengths. During my four to five minute Tell A Story speech, I really didn’t have any weaknesses besides not having effective speaking notes and learn to write less. My strengths with this speech was that I was very raw and emotional which Ms. Reeder said was a great way to introduce myself to the class and her. I really don’t have to worry about eye contact or getting my audience’s attention and setting the appropriate mood for my speech. With my Tell A Story speech I truly believe that this is one of my best speeches. Now with my Informative speech my strengths were that I was very happy giving the speech and very engaging on the Information that I was teaching my classmates and teacher. I had a couple of weaknesses with this speech, like I needed to have more sources from different places instead of all coming from the same source, I didn’t have a good Artistic last line but overall everything was excellent. Finally, my Persuasive speech was not the best one of them all. I really don’t believe that I was well prepared to give this speech due to the simple fact that when talking about the death penalty, it’s kind of hard. I admit that I had a lack of research when giving this speech...

Words: 884 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Bullet or the Ballet Paper

...------------------------------------------------- The Ballot or the bullet Malcolm X Cory Methodist Church Cleveland, Ohio April 3, 1964 Garret Feucht COM 250 – Prof. Heins 10/29/15 Garret Feucht COM 250 – Prof. Heins 10/29/15 (Daniels, 2014) The Ballot or the Bullet is the title of one of the many speeches given by human rights activist Malcolm X. In his speech he focuses on the oppression of the African American, and how African Americans are able to stand up against the illegal segregation. Malcolm also focuses on the African American’s right to vote, and how effective each vote actually is. He also warns the government that if he and his people are not able to vote that they may have to take up arms. The Ballot or the Bullet is among one of Malcolm’s most famous speeches being ranked at number seven in a Top 100 list of speeches in the 20th century. (News, 2008) On May 19, 1925 Malcolm Little was born to parents Earl and Louise Little the fourth of seven children. Born in Omaha, Nebraska the Little family shortly after moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then to Lansing, Michigan to avoid any further harassment from the Ku Klux Klan. In 1929, just four years after Malcolm was born, the LIttle family house was burned down. This was no accident it was believed to have been burned by members of the Black Legion. At the age of six Malcolm’s father passed away in an automobile accident. Rumors spread that Earl had been murdered by white racists. His mother believed...

Words: 2232 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Me, L; M; Jkj; Jk; Kj; K

...dfsdfsfswgAbraham Lincoln's ability to write and deliver great speeches made him a rising star in national politics and propelled him to the White House. And during his years in office, classic speeches, especially the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, helped to establish him as one of the greatest American presidents. Follow the links below to read more about Lincoln's greatest speeches. Lincoln's Lyceum Address Buyenlarge/Archive Photos/Getty Images Addressing a local chapter of the American Lyceum Movement in Springfield, Illinois, a 28-year-old Lincoln delivered a surprisingly ambitious speech on a cold winter night in 1838. The speech was entitled "The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions," and Lincoln, who had just been elected to local political office, spoke on matters of great national significance. He made allusions to a recent act of mob violence in Illinois, and also addressed the issue of slavery. Though Lincoln was talking to a smalltown audience of friends and neighbors, he seemed to have ambitions beyond Springfield and his position as a state representative. Lincoln's Address at Cooper Union In late February 1860 Abraham Lincoln took a series of trains from Springfield, Illinois to New York City. He had been invited to speak to a gathering of the Republican Party, a fairly new political party which was opposed to the spread of slavery. Lincoln had gained some fame while debating Stephen A. Douglas two years earlier in a...

Words: 952 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Importance of Reagan's Rhetoric

...President Reagan’s use of rhetoric in his speeches throughout his political career was essential in establishing a cohesive and successful relationship with the American people. His charismatic nature and unfaltering authenticity in every single speech defined him as a true leader – one who might finally be able to restore faith in the American presidency in a country perpetually traumatized by the Watergate Scandal. Reagan brought indisputable political beliefs established on a solid sense of conservatism as well as a solid moral code built on firm religious values. These two features that Reagan exemplified laid the groundwork for an administration that was characterized by consistent and unyielding principles. The perfect example of this aspect of his administration is prevalent in his rhetoric. His small anecdotes, perfect word choice, and references to past great leaders all underscored his incredible ability to communicate the successes and lessen the defeats that faced his administration. Through his use of consistent and unique rhetoric from his first major speech in 1964 continued to his farewell speech in 1989, Ronald Reagan established motifs of freedom, limited government, moral renewal, and hope for the future that ultimately rescue American pride in the executive branch and in the country as a whole. In Ronald Reagan’s second inaugural address, which spans just over three pages, he used the word freedom 17 times. He took one of the most complex and hard to achieve...

Words: 4643 - Pages: 19

Premium Essay

Patrick Henry Persuasion Analysis

...Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine and Ronald Reagan all share fairly similar styles in their writing, especially through the speeches they gave. While giving their speeches and other pieces of writing they published, they were very successful in persuading their audience to accommodate for the change that needed to be made during the time. Despite them sharing all successful forms of persuasion, they most commonly adapted to the emotional aspect, also known as pathos. In Patrick Henry’s speech most commonly known as “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,” he expresses a lot of emotion when trying to persuade the president to agree with his purpose. Henry’s purpose was to gain independence in the colonies by going to war with Great Britain, who had...

Words: 732 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Eve's Research on Analysis

...activities are one of these situations. Civic engagement or civic participation is the encouragement of the general public to become involved in the political process and the issues that affect them. It is the community coming together to be a collective source of change, political and non-political. ( Public speaking and Civic engagement goes hand in hand. Without speaking in public, like the definition above, you will never be able to speak your mind out to the general public for the sake of your purpose. Civic engagement doesn’t happen with just watching. For it is not called participating. This research entitled “Public Speaking and Civic Engagement” will convey how public speaking plays a great role in civic engagement and vice versa. I.a- Rationale of the Study Project 540 at the University of Pennsylvania defines civic engagement in this way: “Adding one’s voice to community conversations. Advocacy on behalf of others....

Words: 1911 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Chris Herren

...High Hoops February 26, 2013 Chris Herren a former college basketball standout turned NBA bust, had one thing holding him back throughout his basketball career, drug abuse. The story of his life has many twists and turns all of which he portrays in his inspirational speeches. He is not on any of the top 100 lists of great American orators because his speeches are not directed towards the masses instead he reaches out to high school students in hopes that they will not make the same mistakes he did. Chris Herren grew up in Fall River MA, a relatively small town outside of Boston. He attended Durfee High School from 1990-1994. It is here that his life began to spiral out of control. As a freshman, it was evident that his talents on the court surpassed that of all of his predecessors. But, his decisions off the court ultimately lead to his fall from grace. In his book he notes that during his high school years drinking, drugs, and fighting came before basketball. Despite this, he still managed to have the greatest high school basketball career Durfee High had ever witnessed. As word spread of his talents, the Burdon of the city fell on his back. He describes Fall River in one powerful sentence. “Fall River, it teaches you from a very young age, to fight, to punch first, to be loyal, to never let any friend be left behind, and it gets a bad rap for that.” Following his standout freshman year, the best College basketball teams began recruiting...

Words: 2415 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Hitler and Churill

...examination of their goals and leadership characteristics will show that these individuals had quite very different objectives.; hHowever, the leadership processes they used were frequently similar. Adolf Hitler and Winton Churchill were among the greatest leaders in world history and certainly during the years of World War II. History perceives Churchill as a positive character and Hitler as an example of an unscrupulous leader who brought death and destruction. Churchill led Great Britain as a prime minister during World War II, while Hitler was a leader of Germany. Churchill and Hitler were very different individuals. In many ways their leadership styles and approach seemed similar, however, their backgrounds were quite different. Churchill came from a wealthy and famous family while Hitler, in contrast, was born into a family of commoners. Both of them lost their fathers during their youth; Hitler was 14, Churchill was 20. Churchill was a patriot and a prominent speaker who gave many speeches defending freedom and showing nationalistic pride. According to Rossi (2004) Churchill “loved the British people but hated no other nation. Hitler, in contrast, was consumed by hatred-of the Jews, Slavs, and gypsies among others. Hatred was the driving force of his life” (pp. 106-107). Churchill despised totalitarianism and was a mortal enemy of fascism, while Hitler supported...

Words: 1140 - Pages: 5

Free Essay


...Russian President Vladimir Putin’s talents tend toward the uber-masculine: hang-gliding, horseback riding, judo wrestling and the like. But among Russians, he’s also well-known for a softer skill: his public speaking. The Moscow Times reports that Putin is consistently ranked by Russians as one of the best orators in the country, so much so that businessmen and other politicians, such as Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, attempt to emulate it . People apparently admire his clear sentences, quick wit and ability to deliver speeches without a script. "There is clear sentence structure [and] word emphasis and a skillful use of pauses. It's almost clean speech with a minimal amount of trashy words,” Russian rhetoric coach Dmitry Ustinov told the Moscow Times. A new book, "Speak like Putin? Speak Better than Putin!" aims to explain and impart the Russian leader’s speaking style to government officials and business people. For example, Putin’s speeches tend to refer to commonly-held beliefs, like this one: “At a security conference in Munich, apparently referring to NATO's actions in the Middle East, Putin asked, ‘Why should we start bombing and shooting now at every available opportunity?’ Here, he uses the shared belief that conflicts can and should be solved through peaceful means, through negotiations and within the law,” author Valery Apanasik writes. Putin’s gesticulation is also very interesting and important to be mentioned. For example, on some meetings he used to seat...

Words: 494 - Pages: 2