Endless management resources tell us that public speaking is an essential skill for management, whether to inspire a team, convince investors, or assuage the public when something goes wrong.
For those who are not naturally gifted in this area, all it takes is practice. There are endless courses run by every type of trainer (presentation, voice, sales) and management coach. While working at Whistling Woods, I was approached several times about hosting “Acting Skills for CEOs”, courses that cover subjects such as controlling space, projecting your voice, and interacting with the audience.
For those who wish to practice at home, a great way to start is by studying famous speeches. These pieces of oratory are in the history books, not just because of the historical context, but also because of the language, the phrasing, the imagery and the diction.
Here is a list of The 35 Greatest Speeches in History, courtesy of The Art of Manliness. Open the link and have a look.
Here’s the thing – these speeches won’t teach you that much just by reading them…. You have to say it out loud. Print one out, take it home, and pace around your bedroom pretending to be Churchill.
You know you want to.