Build a rhetorical foundation under the castle of your speechwriting career

Writer and Vital Speeches correspondent Neil Hrab has been sending us rhetoric-rleated links from, and for months we’ve been compiling them in a file, waiting for a cold winter’s day, a fireplace and a few hours to rub together. It’s August, and we’re still swamped with the daily work, and we’ve withheld these resources long enough.

We’ll get to them eventually, but if you get to them first, please consider writing a review, extracting advice for speechwriters; we’d love to publish it here.

Here are Hrab’s picks, and in some cases, his notes.

“Making of an Orator”

“Orators of the American Revolution”
“Art of Interesting” (How to keep an audience’s attention—written from the perspective of a clergyman, but still interesting to speechwriters who deal with purely secular subjects.)
“William Pardow of the Society of Jesus” (Pardow was, in his time, a well-known Jesuit who regularly spoke in public. The methods are interesting, and you don’t need to be a Jesuit to learn from them.)
A reprint of a pre-presidential speech by Abraham Lincoln. (If you haven’t seen this one before, I think you will really enjoy it—this speech has a TON of interesting lessons about persuasion….)

“The Art of Oratorical Composition, based upon the precepts and models of the old masters”  (From 1885—but still very interesting.)

The Essentials of Extempore Speaking (1917
Essentials of Public Speaking  (1921
Hints for the Political Speaker (1921)

Hrab adds that, in case you want any of the above titles on your bookshelf, some are available for puchase as reprints from

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