A speech is just a speech, an orator is just an orator, as time goes by… Or is it?
The best of speeches are more than effective dissemination of information, or a marked eloquence in public speaking. Neither is it limited to influencing an audience or merely an efficient combination of syntactic vocabulary. And it is definitely not just a matter of an opening, a hook and a conclusion.
The best of speeches transcends logic and reason. It captivates you and touches your very core, inspiring and strengthening your resolve, giving you hope in your darkest hour and daring you to dream.
Legendary speeches such as Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ given at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, FDR’s address to the nation following the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 or John F Kennedy’s ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ address delivered in Berlin in 1963, to a certain extent, possesses that indefinable characteristic that instantly elevates the speech and the orator beyond the realm of the ordinary.
At times, we have seen such instances manifest themselves during the Democratic National Conventions, most memorably the heartfelt speech by Elizabeth Glaser in 1992 and Mario Cuomo’s inspirational keynote address in 1984. There have been many more notable speeches given in the Convention over the years, and there certainly will be a few more by the end of the 2012 Convention.
We aim to highlight these speeches for posterity, and just maybe along the way, to inspire us all over again.