Outside of the odd, one or two personal questions, the majority of the questions – while diverse in specifics – had a shared focus and one primary goal: "How do I give a great speech?"
While many people may seem like intrinsically gifted speakers - and certainly some are more naturally comfortable speaking than others – the truth is, the greatest speakers in the history of the world, the ones who appeared to effortlessly inspire action, were actually the most well-prepared.
But in addition to preparedness, the greatest speakers understood not only HOW to give a great speech, they understood the WHY behind it. They knew a great speech is more than following a model or a method; it is the communication of a mission. In most cases, those missions were great, and resulted in changing the landscape of their country, of their cause and of their business. But they knew, they would not – and could not - meet those missions alone. They needed to inspire others to join them and enact the same. Ultimately, they understood this couldn’t be accomplished through one great speech.
They needed to become great speakers.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
The upcoming posts will be less focused on powerpoint, and more focused on becoming powerful. Less on the "what" and more on the "why." Less on refining content, and more about building character. We will look to analyze and de-construct the method and the manner of the great speakers of our time. In doing, I hope we all will learn something.
I look forward to you joining the discussion.
Patty McDonough Kennedy is CEO of Kennedy Spencer (www.kennedyspencer.net) a marketing communication agency, and Human Works (www.humanworks.guru), a speaking, training and presentation coaching company. She splits her time between New York and Vienna, Austria and works with companies and individuals across the world developing effective marketing, communication and speaking strategies. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org