Richard Dowis spends no time lamenting this lost art. Instead he focuses his energy on its resurrection.
Dowis's background in journalism and public relations provided the foundation for his writing a remarkably readable book. His conversational style serves as a model for the language you would want to hear -- and use -- in a speech. Frequent headings and an especially legible font also contribute to the book's readability.
In _The Lost Art of the Great Speech_, Dowis addresses every conceivable aspect of this topic -- from deciding whether to accept a speaking engagement to "leveraging" a speech by converting it to one or more publishable articles. The book takes a holistic approach to speech writing. Chapters follow the process of speech preparation, including delivery as well as crafting. In addition, Dowis discusses topics such as how to write a speech to be delivered by someone else and how to introduce a speaker.
Each chapter includes pertinent excerpts from actual speeches, many taken from the business world, and also includes a full speech or a substantial excerpt of a speech by a well-known person. Many of these speeches have historical significance. Having asserted that "reading and listening to speeches is one of the keys to learning how to write and deliver them," Dowis supplies us with many examples to study.
Dowis devotes several chapters to rhetorical devices that can lift a speech from the respectable to the eloquent. To illustrate how rhetoric can immortalize a concept, he compares several versions of an idea that appeared in speeches by famous Americans.
In addition to a detailed index, _The Lost Art of the Great Speech_ includes two helpful appendices: An Editing Checklist for Speech Writers and Resources for Speakers and Speech Writers.
_The Lost Art of the Great Speech_ is a valuable resource for anyone who might have the opportunity to address a group of people. Although it does not include study questions or practice exercises, it would be an excellent book for a class of high school or college students as well as for adults who are studying independently.