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.