By: Mourad Hasbaoui
Undergraduate student in political science at Texas A&M
“….For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man…”.Robert, Kennedy.
On April, 4th, 1968, Robert Kennedy delivered this great political and emotional speech during his arrival to Indiana for his election campaign in which he announced the assassination of Martin Luther King. This speech is considered one of the best 100 speeches ever delivered in the political history of the United States of America. A lot has been said and written about Robert Kennedy’s skills in giving great elocutions, but the question we should ask ourselves is what makes a political speech a great one?.
Oratory (the art of public speaking) and Rhetoric (the art of effective speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques) are the two main bases for a great political speech. Many politicians and congressmen in America have realized the importance of speech writing and that excellent oratory skill is a “must have”. A great speech matters because an articulate speech delivered by a great speaker is a heartfelt and an electrifying experience; it can make us believe an idea or a theory. It also gives us a hope when all around us is just desperation, courage when all around us is fear, and strength when all around us is weakness.
A great speech can inspire people to face strategic challenges, make huge sacrifices or break chains of the injustice. Also, a prodigious political diction can help people fight against tyranny, bigotry and oppression. It also can bring the best emotions out of you. You feel humble, motivated and very excited. Yet, a monumental political speech can make people do hideous acts of inhumanity, hate, torture and violence.
There are so many great speeches delivered by great leaders such as the farewell Sermon of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) in 632AD and that Sir Winston Churchill’s speech on November 10, 1942 during the victory of the battle of El Alamein.
Regardless of whether a politician is giving speech about domestic affairs, foreign policy, or fund raising event, the best leaders are first rate communicators. They know that a clear effective communication with people is very important to their political success and a golden string that ties them to their constituents.