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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Great Moments in Historic Speeches - Ronald Reagan

Known as “The Great Communicator” Ronald Reagan excelled when communicating with the American public. At the time of his now famous “Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate” speech of 1987, Cold War tensions were steadily decreasing. When President Reagan demanded the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, “tear down this wall” (i.e. the Berlin Wall) he established himself as one of America’s great speakers. This speech was instrumental in both the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union.

Although the general public considered his moniker “The Great Communicator” to be an apt name, Reagan himself did not agree. He believed he “wasn’t a great communicator, but [he] communicated great things.”

When you begin to compose a speech, concentrate on great content. Outline a few central ideas that will be the “heart” of your speech. When you figure out what your main points are, work on effective ways to communicate them. As Reagan said, “I never thought it was my style that made a difference – it was the content.”