Famous examples of declamation include Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Winston Churchill's "We shall fight them on the beaches." A fictional example is the Shakespearean "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" speech from "Julius Caesar."

A declamation is any passionate or moving speech, usually fairly short, that is intended to stir up deep emotion in the audience. The word "declamation" comes from the Latin "declamare," which means "to shout out" or "to cry out." The declamation was a feature of the classical Roman rhetorical curriculum. Students were asked to memorize famous speeches and create impromptu declamations on a topic. This practice of teaching public speaking by imitation remains popular in many places still today.