What makes a great speech? According to tips from Toastmasters, you should “know the audience,” “realize that people want you to succeed,” and “practice, practice, practice.” We’re sure that the performers at tonight’s Great Speeches & Other Outbursts, a benefit for the writing program for children 826NYC, will employ all these tactics and more as they aim to re-create the magic of some very famous speakers. This American Life‘s Ira Glass will have the arduous task of channeling both Abraham Lincoln and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; comedian John Hodgman will give a speech by Theodore Roosevelt; Strangers With Candy‘s Amy Sedaris promises to give a dazzling Amway pep talk; and The Motherf***er With the Hat‘s Bobby Cannavale will read the words of Mario Cuomo. Also on the program, hosted by the lovely Sarah Vowell, are Eric Bogosian, Wyatt Cenac, and John Oliver. Let’s just hope they don’t try that other great public-speaking tactic for nerves: imagining the audience nude.

Mon., June 20, 8 p.m., 2011