I Have a Dream -
Is this the most famous American speech?

Many people think so. In fact Wikipedia quotes it as being more than the most famous American speech:-

"Delivered to over 200,000 civil rights supporters, the speech is often considered to be one of the greatest and most notable speeches in history and was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address."

Click the link to read more about its context, style, history and the extraordinary effect of I Have a Dream .
And watch the video. This is approximately 17 minutes of original black and white footage.

'I have a Dream'

You can listen and watch for many elements. The content is inspiring but so too is the way it's expressed. King's language is compelling, emotive and lyrical and the delivery charged with passion.

If you're looking for pointers on: vocal variety, pausing, pace, pitch and tone, 'I have a Dream' fulfills them all.

The video is posted here with grateful thanks for it being made available for public use.


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This Wikipedia Entry has extensive links to study guides, essays, books and other videos about Martin Luther King.

You can find further information on using vocal variety, pausing, and pace in your speech right on this site. Click to go to the site map for extensive public speaking help.

To listen and watch other famous American speeches click the link. It will take you to a page listing the top 100.
Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech is number one.

Return from the most famous American speech to Home Page

Vocal Variety Exercises

Discover the Power of the Pause

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"Words are of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."
Rudyard Kipling