Lessons From History: MLK Jr.'s I Have a Dream - Deepstash
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The top American speech of the 20th century

The top American speech of the 20th century

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered what is perhaps the most famous speech in American history.

The speech, "I have a dream," was a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement, and stands as the ideal of what public speaking should be.


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The hallmarks of every great speech

  • The masterly use of repetition. King uses this technique throughout his speech. “One hundred years later…,” “now is the time…,” “we can never be satisfied…,” “I have a dream…” 
  • The use of tone. Throughout his speech, his passion is so evident that it feels almost tangible. He evokes a strong, active, commanding voice, using such verbs as must, cannot, and can never.
  • Storytelling. When King begins with the phrase “I have a dream…” he is painting a picture. He is visualizing what life would be like for African Americans if the Civil Rights movement were won.


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I like movies, reading books and tea. I also listen to a lot of podcasts.


Martin Luther King's famous public speech is the epitome of how to deliver a great talk. Here is what we can learn from him.

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