Great-Speeches How To Make Them
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The power of eloquence has been recognized from the earliest times. It has occupied a
foremost place in influencing human conduct and persuading men to action. In ancient
Greece oratory was as seriously regarded and studied as any of the arts and sciences. It
was this art, indeed, which gave to Athenians much of their polished grace and superior
It is true that not every one can be a great orator, yet to have a place even in the second or
third rank is a worthy ambition. A man may become excellent, tho he may not become
great. As an old writer has said, even if we have little hope of surpassing great men, we
may deem it an honor to follow them.
The student of public speaking should remember that all great speakers began as students,
and in many instances owed their ultimate distinction, not so much to natural
endowments as to earnestness and diligence. Demosthenes and Cicero studied
ceaselessly; Chatham, Fox, Burke, Brougham, Gladstone, and other British orators were
close students of classical eloquence; while Webster, Lincoln, Clay, and many others
renowned in American oratory were indefatigable.
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