Great speech example: Gettysburg Address

03-Jul / Speech Writing / 0 COMMENTS

Great speech example

Today marks the end of the Battle of Gettysburg. While Lincoln would not give his famous address until November 19th, it’s still quite fitting for this weekend. It stands as one of the best speeches in history. It’s a great speech example and what I like most about it is that it comes in around 270 words. Next time you give a speech, challenge yourself to make it that short.

Here’s the text from the Bliss copy–the last known copy and the only version (out of four) signed by Lincoln. It’s a great speech example of using just 270 words to move the audience.

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.

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Eddie Rice

Eddie Rice

Eddie is a speechwriter and public speaking coach. His clients include CEOs, college presidents, business owners, and government officials. Email him: eddie@customspeechwriting.com
Eddie Rice

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