Again, to reassure the audience that what they now
know will benefit them in some way, it is necessary to
remind them of how they will benefit if they remember
what you have said. Consider the following example:
You now have a working knowledge of two
combat developments in marksmanship. If you ever
come to grips with the enemy, what you have
learned in the past 20 minutes could mean the
difference between life and death.
The forceful conclusion is the end of your talk and
should be as dramatic and interesting as the attention
step. A weak ending diminishes the effect of the points.
The statement, Well, I guess I am done or That is all
I have now greatly reduces the impact of any
presentation. The same techniques that were suggested
to open a talk can be used to close one.
Illustrations, quotations, jokes and questions are all
good ways of closing a talk. A strong, positive statement
is one of the best. Nobody seems to have improved on
I know not what course others may take, but as for me,
give me liberty or give me death. One thing is vital,
however. Your closing should tie the entire talk together
in one cohesive unit.
Learning Objective: Recognize the
The public affairs office is usually the public speech
writing department for the officer in command. As the
senior journalist in this public affairs position, you may
be the speech writer for the command. At the very least,
you can expect to be called on some time during your
career to write an occasional speech for the skipper and
perhaps for other senior members of his staff. If your
command is large enough to have a formal speakers
bureau in operation (discussed later in this chapter), you
will be required to maintain several canned speeches
and slide presentations for various occasions.
Speaking engagements in nearby communities are
an integral part of the public affairs plan for gaining
public support and understanding. Opportunities to
speak are being sought more and more by all commands
within the Navy. Therefore, the skipper and the PAO
will expect you to assist them in researching and
preparing, or in writing, the manu- scripts of talks given
by them or a representative of the command.
This job rests with the public affairs office not only
because the officer in command does not have the time
to prepare a different speech for each occasion but also
because your office should be in an excellent position to
(1) assess an audiences needs, desires and interests in
asking for a speaker; and (2) determine the gaps in
public understanding concerning activities, policies and
missions of your organization or installation.
The following is a list of the advantages of a written
It provides an opportunity for the writer to revise,
edit and polish the speech until it is literally a
It can be submitted for clearance and checked
closely for security or policy violations.
It reduces the possibility of a serious mis-
quotation on critical matters.
It assures the speaker of meeting the time
limitations on radio, television or at a civic club
It allows the dissemination of an advance release
to assure more complete and accurate coverage.
An extemporaneous speaker can adjust his material
as he is presenting it. The feedback he receives from his
audience dictates certain changes and sometimes
elaboration of a part or two.
However, the speech writer has no such
opportunity. If he errs, even in the slightest detail in his
analysis, the speaker has no other recourse but to wade
through an ill-adapted manuscript. Therefore, prior
analysis of the audience, situation and occasion takes on
increased importance and must be considered in greater
In analyzing the audience as to age, sex, back-
ground, size, socioeconomic status, and so forth, you
should talk with members of the club or group as part of
your research before you start to write the speech. If
possible, attend one of their meetings. This will aid you
in your analysis of the audience and enable you to
examine the physical setting where your speaker will
make his delivery. The size of the room, customary