Rev. King’s stirring address resonates in oratorical circles as well as historical ones
“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most memorable speeches of all time.
Much of the greatness of this speech is tied to its historical context, a topic which goes beyond the scope of this article. Instead, I’ll focus on five key lessons in speechwriting that we can extract from Martin Luther King’s most famous speech.
Lesson 1: Emphasize phrases through repetition at the start of a sentence
Read the speech transcript here.
Anaphora (repeating words at the beginning of neighboring clauses) is a commonly used rhetorical device. Repeating the words twice sets the pattern, and further repetitions emphasize the pattern and increase the rhetorical effect.