6 ways famous (and infamous) orators can make you a better speaker

From Martin Luther King Jr. to Adolf Hitler, these men knew how to capture an audience and inspire action—and isn’t that what you want to do?

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Former British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin hated public speaking and blamed its overwhelming force and power for the spilling of so much blood throughout history. He believed that “to tell the truth needed no art.”

That’s artfully put, but not only does a speaker have to want to tell the truth, an audience has to want to hear it.

Simply put: Great speeches are passionate and authoritative voices of the truth; they never read like excerpts from “The World Almanac.”

If they did, nobody would listen.

To achieve that authority, renowned speakers utilized a wide range of both rhetorical and oratorical traits. Some of those traits are inherent, but others are available to any public speaker, whether in a modest business presentation or an important professional speech with a great deal at stake.

Here are a few lessons we can take from some of the greatest orators in history.

Winston Churchill

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.'”

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