Abraham Lincoln was a powerful orator who used his words to inspire and unite. Reflecting this legacy, the Ford’s Theatre Oratory Approach offers easy-to-implement tools that help every student develop public speaking skills and find their own powerful voice.
These tools accomplish multiple curricular goals, from analyzing great historical speeches, to writing persuasive speeches, to speaking more effectively, to listening and critiquing constructively.
Many teachers and students assume public speaking is an innate talent. Ford’s Oratory tools provide a structure for every student to learn and cultivate effective speaking. A multi-year evaluation shows that this approach builds students’ skill and confidence in speaking and their understanding of effective persuasion. Teachers also report that the Ford’s approach helps build a classroom culture of civil discourse and constructive feedback, supporting students in becoming active participants in our democratic society.
Ford’s Theatre Oratory Approach
Reading and Analyzing Great Historical Speeches
Reading historical speeches develops a foundation of understanding for what makes an effective speech, analyzing for rhetorical appeals, structure and style.
Listening and Critiquing
Listening to public figures, colleagues or classmates deliver speeches develops understanding for the elements of effective public speaking, such as pace, eye contact and tone. Learning to offer specific, constructive feedback strengthens this understanding and develops skills for civil classroom conversations.
Speaking and Performing
Speeches by their nature are meant to be spoken aloud. Students and teachers alike “walk the walk” by learning to perform speeches and become familiar with identifying and crafting their words for specific audiences.
Writing Original Persuasive Speeches
As teachers become more comfortable with their skills for teaching oratory, many are interested in students learning to write their own speeches. Students understand the importance of speech on a deeper level, as they strengthen their own skills to write and speak about issues that matter to them.
Ford’s Theatre Oratory Tools for your classroom
Coach students in nine specific oral and physical elements of effective speaking.