Famous Speeches - Practice By Reading Them Out Loud

A brilliant way to start overcoming your fear of public speaking is to read famous speeches in front of an audience.

It's one of the oldest forms of public speaking training. The Ancient Greeks used it to train orators ... and of course, often their lives depended on their ability to speak well!

It's known in Toastmasters as Interpretive Reading and is a skill all of its own to be mastered.

But why not use great words, spoken by some of the world's great speakers to build your own confidence?

Ready to show us your efforts already? Just go straight to the Form and submit your video.

If you're going to say something you might as well say something great, right?

You'd be surprised by the short length of some of the most famous examples. The entire Gettysburg address by Abe Lincoln was only 272 words long. In fact here it is:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate... we can not consecrate... we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government : of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

What a great place to start!

The exercise below will help you with your fear of public speaking even if you can't think of something to talk about! Just borrow from others for now.

If you get into this exercise I promise you'll feel great too.

The text of many famous speeches are easily found on the web so have some fun digging them out.

Or you could listen here to Winston Churchill's famous speech "We will fight on the beaches" - and write down the words from any part of it you like.

Exercise: Read A Famous Speech

  1. Find the text of a well known speech by a speaker you admire.
  2. Read it out loud until you feel good about how it sounds.
  3. Video yourself doing it.
  4. Upload your video to You Tube.
  5. Submit your video by filling out the form right below this box.

Tell Us About Your Video

Here's where you tell us about what's in your video.

Just type the story of your video in the Form below. Also make sure you include the You Tube embed code for your video.

We'll do the rest, and create a web page on this site just for you.

Then you just sit back and enjoy the constructive feedback you'll get!

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