Well, for the ones that we are working on now, I had them read through their choice completely at least once each day for two weeks. Then I broke their choice into 4 sections having them read through and learn each quarter for each week. We are currently working on this step. After they go through this and learn each section, I give them another week, sometimes two, for inflection, etc.
As far as speeches, my kiddos have done the Gettysburg Address, portions of MLK's I Have A Dream, George Washington's fairwell address, portions of Paine's Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death, among others.
I also forgot to mention that we also choose poetry.