Speechmaking in the Twenty-First Century

  • Jens E. KjeldsenEmail author
  • Amos Kiewe
  • Marie Lund
  • Jette Barnholdt Hansen
Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society book series (RPS)


In this chapter, we argue that new media is not a threat, but an opportunity for speechmaking. Internet and video are potential vehicles for the speechwriter’s words, creating a renaissance of speechwriting. Speechmaking has earned its place in human history and contemporary society because of its distinguishing characteristics: A speech is not a text, but a physical and situational event unfolding in a specific sphere of time and space. It is an oral and physical performance highly dependent on the character and use of the speaker’s body and voice. Speeches are especially good at creating community and making a personal case. The chapter also addresses the everyday, conversational style, which dominates much contemporary speechmaking.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens E. Kjeldsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amos Kiewe
    • 2
  • Marie Lund
    • 3
  • Jette Barnholdt Hansen
  1. 1.Department of Information Science and Media StudiesUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of Communication and Rhetorical StudiesSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  3. 3.School of Communication and CultureAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

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