For the visual learner, watching brilliant speakers can be the ultimate way to learn how to take your skills from okay to great. A Declamation speaker should NEVER watch a performance of their speech prior to interpreting the piece first. Nor should imitation ever be a goal. What you should be doing is trying to pick up the subtleties of what compose a good speaker. Now, most everyone is familiar with YouTube. If for some reason though YouTube does not quite have what you are searching for (or you wish to expand your knowledge and browse through videos of speeches) here are links to other websites where videos of famous speeches and speakers can be found.
- The History Channel. See history on tape and find videos with the background information surrounding an event or political figure. Great for research on historical events you may be unfamiliar with. http://www.history.com/video.do?action=home
- U.S. Government's Official Page. Simply type in the a figure's name, followed by "video," in the search bar and take advantage of all the archiving the United States government has done. http://www.usa.gov/
- See also...
- Newsplayer offers videos for speakers from America and across the pond. http://www.newsplayer.com/Famous-Speeches-videos
- Learn Out Loud. A collection of audio and videos of speeches. http://www.learnoutloud.com/Free-Audio-Video/History/Speeches#self
- A search engine. Since you know the title of your speech, as well as the author, try using a search engine to find videos of them (or another speaker) performing your piece. Just type in the speaker's name followed by the word "video" (or use the speech's title if the author existed before the days of video recording--you might find a contemporary speaker performing your piece). This could be the most direct, simplistic way to find audio/video clips.
Declamation is unique in that it is a speaking event where you can witness your piece being done by a master of public speaking. No other speaking category allows for the luxury of such aid. Enhance your Declamation and take advantage of any suggestions you can to deliver a fantastic speech.