A speech typically has a main topic and a number of subtopics. At a basic level, knowing what these topics are will give you a good impression of what the speech is about.

Knowing about the topic of the speech will also be helpful for your analysis, since the speaker’s views on the topic will typically start to emerge once you get a good understanding of what the topics are. Right from the start, you should consider whether the speaker has a clear attitude to the topic, and whether this attitude is positive or negative. At later stages of your analysis, you may then consider in more detail how that attitude is expressed and which devices the speaker uses to communicate it.

You should also be aware of whether the topic of the speech is controversial - something that might awaken strong emotions in the audience or even offend someone. This...

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