Other guides on public speaking focus on how to convey knowledge or understanding. While it is useful to master such informative speech, other goals and strategies are essential for a politician: publicity, for one. To communicate optimism, to rely on material written by others, to speak repeatedly, day in and day out. Above all, politicians need to persuade their audiences. They can use facts or appeal to values, but in the end, they must urge action. Politicians are advocates.
Robert Lehrman, former speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore, offers both speakers and writers the LAWS of political speech. He explains how speakers can deliver:
* Language the audience will understand and remember,
* Anecdotes that make listeners laugh and cry,
* Wit that pokes fun at opponents but also shows their own lighter side, and
* Support in the way of statistics, examples, and testimony.
With how-to guidance in each chapter-including annotated speeches-Lehrman shows how to apply the LAWS at every step, even providing an entire chapter on delivery. Lehrman also opens up his Rolodex to readers, interviewing speechwriting luminaries who offer up their best advice in a "Behind the Scenes" feature. "As Delivered" boxes point to Web links for watching notable speeches, while a handy "Speechwriter's Checklist" concludes every chapter.
Robert A. Lehrman served as Chief Speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore and, in 2004, as Chief Speechwriter for the Democratic National Committee during his more than three decades of experience writing speeches. He has written for political figures, celebrities, heads of nonprofits, and corporate CEOs, most recently as speechwriter to the Chairman and CEO of Pfizer. He created and co-teaches the political speechwriting course at American University, where he was awarded the 2010 University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Appointment. He speaks often at other campuses, conferences, and associations, on the topic of political speechwriting. Author of a number of award-winning novels and coauthor of a highly acclaimed non-fiction book for young adults, Lehrman has a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop, where he studied with Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Yates