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Successful Persuasive Speeches

            A persuasive speech is a speech which has a goal to sway listeners and readers in favor of the speaker or an idea the speaker has or supports. Great speeches are mainly emotional rather than logical. Who would listen to someone giving them cold, hard facts instead of someone who is appealing to the audience's senses and emotions? This year in English class, we read five speeches that were very emotional and persuasive. All of the speeches that we read were high quality speeches that got their points across and brought on the flow of a variety of emotions. However, I believe that the three most important speeches that we read and the speeches that should stay in the curriculum for years to come are Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream," Severn Suzuki's "Speech at the UN Meeting in Brazil", and Aung San Suu Kyi's "Commencement Speech.".
             Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech should stay because he speaks so powerfully and clearly. King's speech from the March on Washington was brilliant, and emotional. King uses parallelism quite often in his speech. For example, "Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring.Let freedom ring." (King 6) By doing so, King makes his argument so much stronger. The fact that some of the most emotional parts were improvised makes it an even more brilliant speech. During his speech, King uses many rhetorical devices such as parallelism to persuade his listeners. King also uses imagery, or details appealing to the senses, throughout his entire speech. King calmly and clearly presents his speech in a way that many cannot. Overall, King wrote and delivered a fantastic speech that many others would not be able to. Severn Suzuki is only twelve years old and gets up in front of so many people and speaks her mind, and her speech deserves to stay in the curriculum. Suzuki is fearless when it comes to addressing the problem at hand.

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