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CRS – Speechwriting Resources: Fact Sheet

CRS Report – Speechwriting Resources: Fact Sheet November 4, 2015

“As elected officials and leaders, Senators and Representatives are frequently called upon to deliver speeches and other public remarks to a range of audiences. Congressional staff often prepare draft speeches for Members of Congress. Effective delivery can greatly improve the reception of a speech. In general, congressional speechwriters should make every effort to become familiar with the speaking style of the Member for whom they are writing, adjusting drafts accordingly. Contemporary American public address emphasizes a style that is natural, direct, low key, casual, and conversational. These elements usually put listeners at ease and promote a sense of community between audience and speaker. In general, speeches are best written in simple, direct, and often short sentences that listeners easily understand. They should be written with a sense for an event’s occasion and purpose and likely audience, including such factors as age, gender, culture, profession, political affiliation, and size of audience. Speechwriters should strive to maintain a clear theme throughout a speech. This fact sheet provides links to resources that can assist in the speechwriting process. Please note, that although the Congressional Research Service (CRS) can assist with background research for speeches, policy guidelines prohibit CRS from writing speeches for Congress.”

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