Speak like Churchill and Stand like Lincoln by James C. Humes
21 powerful secrets of History’s greatest speakers.
Every time you open your mouth your capability as a leader is judged.
1. Power pause
I stand in pause where I shall first begin - William Shakespeare.
staging the strategic delay the next time you deliver a sales pitch or
answer a query put to you during a conversation. Napoleon knew the keys
to charisma and the power pause method was his key to magnifying his
message. Before you answer, take time to look directly into the eyes of
your questioner and hold his or her gaze a beat.
Stand Stare and command your audience
you speak, try to lock your eyes on each of your soon-to-be listeners.
Force yourself before you begin your presentation to say in your own
mind each word of your opening sentence. Every word you wait will
strengthen the impact of your opening words. Stand, stare and command
your audience and they will bend your ears to listen.
2. Power opener.
prime time of any talk or presentation you give is during your opening
words. Everyone in the audience is waiting to see what you look and
sound like. Do not waste that psychological edge with trite blather. Go
for the power opener. Begin with a bang. Prepare it, polish it and
practice it.A power opener is an attention grabber and an audience
3. Power presence - “Clothes, which as it seems, makes thee” - William Shakespeare.
make a statement. The selection of garment should not be causal or by
chance. Adapt a style that suits you and that people will identify with
for men: Shoe - dark brown or black cordovan. Two piece rather than
three piece suit in gray or navy blue is appropriate. ‘The most
underused and understates piece os clothing: the classic white shirt”.
Straight collar with buttoned cuffs is hard to beat. A blue button-down
Oxford is always appropriate
4. Power point - “Speak plain and to the purpose” - William Shakespeare
is it you want the audience to do when the speech is over? what is the
bottom line - in one sentence. Plan your speech like a Symphony.
5 Power Brief.
is more in an adage that has been identified with architecture and
fashion. Terse is better than tedious. Shorter is sweeter. Short is
sharper and brief is better.
Tell a story, not a speech.
The exceptional is often the unexpected -
6 . Power quote.
First rule with quotes. Be comfortable with the quote;
Second rule: prominent and pithy (the name should be recognizable and the quotation brief)
communication spells the difference between a leader and a manager.
Speech is theater - so dig up one apt quotation and frame it with props.
Dramatize and emphasize your quote to make it a power quote.
present perform your quote.Before your next talk, look over your file
and pick the most apt quotation for your talk or presentation, one that
will support your data and reinforce your facts.
7. Power Stat - “A statistic should tell a story” - Margaret Thatcher.
statistics are cited precisely and up front to obtain immediate
credibility; otherwise are frames more roundly to be remembered by the
audience. Too many numbers numb an audience. Pick the strongest and the
finest data (statistics). round your statistics (such a way that it is
easy to understand or correlate (Sweden is five times bigger than Connecticut than saying Sweden is 150 K sq. miles)
Relay your statistics to your listeners and compare to the familiar.
Audience remember odd number than even numbers.
Figures lie and liars figure
8. Power outage. “Too many slides make audience sleepy” = Richard Nixon.
Slides are no substitute for speaking.
A prop, not a crutch. If you aim to be a leader, let your slides be a prop , not a crutch.
Reinforcement rather than replacement. Visual aids should be used to reinforce, not replace the speech.
Keep slides simple.Don’t let your slides become your security blanket.
Slides: an appetizer, not the mean
Power wit. Don’t tack on jokes. The difference between a joke and a
humor is the difference between a pornography picture and a love scene
in a good move. Aristotle once wrote. “The essence of humor is
surprise”. As Shakespeare observed, “It makes a speech amble easily”.
Humor is a change of pace that refreshes.
Great speakers often use humor to lighten the mood of their audience.
The three Rs of humor. - Make it realistic, make it relevant and don't read it
stories realistic and relevant Leaders don’t begin speeches with stale
old jokes; but they do spice up their talks with humorous anecdotes.
Adopt and Anecdote: The secret to presenting speech humor is to weave it in as part of your own experience.
Humor and poetic license:
Illustrating with a Parable: Benjamin Franklin also stressed the importance of investment with a story.
10. Power Parable.
Parables provide picture of abstractions
Don’t change horses in the middle of the stream
Turn concepts into concrete
Arsenal of anecdotes
Storehouse of stories
you share a bit of yourself with others, you win their trust and
affection and they will more readily buy into what you are promoting.
11. Power gesture.-
master of body language and bonding through body language. Leadership
sometimes demands more than verbiage. It requires visible acts. Ghose
and use a power gesture.
12. Power Reading.
Memorize then conventionalize
Don’t speak while looking down
- say technique: Pause are what make a speech sound conversational.
When you pause, you sound sincere, as if you are trying to come up with
the right words to express your thoughts.
13. Power poetry.
Churchill would argue that an article should be written for the eye and speech for the ear.
Transform a speech into poetry. If speech is prose, the phrase-by-phrase technique can transform it into poetry.
your layout luminous - for any talk, little or long, take your types
speech and space it out in bite-size phrases. Following are some of the
rules that help to do so:
When you come to a comma, cut the line off
If your subject is followed by its predicate, don’t separate them
When a preposition is succeed by its object, don’t dissect the two
Never end a line with a or the
When you see a period, make sure to call a halt.
believed that in remarks directed to the ear, a semicolon was verboten,
whereas a dash fit the rhythm of a speech of talk.
the layout leap out at you. The layout lets the key words and phrases
leap out at you. You don’t have to be glued to the text. Secret of
changing the old typed article layout into a format approaching that of
verse. Students tell me that this way of laying out a talk into phrases
is the most useful advice they have taken away from my class. Change
your format to Churchill’s. Lay out your lines like a leader and you
will sound like one.
14. Power line.
Is a secret to coining a power line. And I doubt it will surprise you
that Churchill reportedly came up with a formula that’s easily
remembered by its acronym: C-R-E-A-M
Opposites attract (only answer to defeat is victory)
as well as speechwriters often turn to the Rhyming Nine - AME, AIR,
ITE, AKE, OW, AY, ATE, EEM, AIN - for coining zinger lines.
AME - aim, blame, claim, fame, name, shame, same, game, reclaim, proclaim, flame
AIR - bear, care, dare, fare, fair, share, aware, swear, pare, declare, where, scare, prayer, beware
ITE - bite, cite, fight, fright, height, light, night, right, quite, sight, write, delight, foresight, ignite, tonight
AKE - ache, break, fake, sake, shake, stake, take, make, awake, undertake, mistake
OW - dough, flow, foe, glow, go, grow, know, low, show, slow, throw, ago
AY - day, pray, stay, say, way, pay, play, away, stray, they, array, display
ATE - ate, date, fate, great, late, state, slate, straight, wait, weight, abate, donate
EEM - beam, cream, dream, gleam, steam, scheme, seem, stream, team, theme, esteem, redeem
AIN - gain, pain, reign, stain, strain, wane, vein, attain, retain, regain, explain, remain, sustain,
The echo effect :
Echo is repetition of a word or a phrase. (only thing we have to fear is fear itself).
1. repeat the word in the second phrase that you used in the first.
2. Repeat the noun
3. Repeat the verb
Alliterate and activate:
are better for alliteration than vowels and the best of the consonant
is P. Churchill once framed his secret of speaking in a series of P.
Vary the pose and vary the pitch and don’t forget the pause.
Aristotle once wrote: ‘the highest line of the poet is sometimes the hardest to image.
15 Power question
The question as a quip.
the answer - in cross-examination of witness, an iron-clad rule is to
never ask a question if you are not sure of the answer.
Using series of questions:
rhetorical questions - those to which no answer is expected - are posed
as a speech device to motivate listeners to get involved.
16. Power word and power phrases
Churchill would introduce compelling or unusual words with a deliberate stuttering pause.
17. Power active
Passive is pale and verbal constructions employing the passive voice too often suggest the passive state of mind
Avoid Whabby words - such as Were, Have/Had, Are/is, Be/Been. These are potential overuse of pause.
Passive is for ‘cover-your-ass types and the active choice is for the take-charge leaders.
The active voice provides force to your speech, whereas the passive voice sounds spineless and deadens your delivery.
18. Power dollar.
We can describe the Franklin formula for fund-raising with these four words that begin with D:
Defiance, Design, Donation and duel.
Defiance is a strong word - it suggests presumptuous, audacious, or even cocky attitude.
Design - paint a picture
Donation - faint hear wins not
Dual: high noon at the OK.Corral.
Don’t think a letter will take the place of a personal visit.
19. Power Button.
power button says to the audience - ready-set-listen to set them up for the power line that follows.
Light up a line like a neon sign
Switch on the ignition with a power button.
One power button per speech.
20. Power closer.”Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending”- H.W. Longfellow.
A strong last impression
Scripture or Shakespeare
For a strong ending, said Churchill, you have to appeal to the emotions - pride, hope, love and occasionally, fear.
Apply their anecdotes and draw from history.
Create a Cathedral (story /history)
Pick proven closer.
Plant a flower
Crisp closer - electric endings
21. Power Audacity.
Surprise the audience - communication is more than just the words you express. it is also the impression you make.
Leader’s don’t always follow the script. They make moves that live in the memories of their listeners.
your scene - speakers can’t gain podium power by doing the predictable
and prosaic. One can gain a great deal by taking the risk of doing the
unexpected. An unconditional display of courage can send an unusually