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Winston Churchill: Orator of the Century

Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Winston Churchill inspired Great Britain and the Western world to stand up, and fight against the strongest military empire of the century. You can agree that convincing millions of people to support you in any cause is an almost impossible task. Churchill was very tactful when it came to give convincing speeches. In fact he famously said, “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”

First, and perhaps most importantly, becoming a great speaker is a matter of practice and persistence, not natural talent. Even Churchill himself was not born a great presenter. He actually had a slight stammer and a lisp (that made him sound drunk) when he was young. He spent hours on end crafting his speeches, perfecting every word. Churchill himself said “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential.”

With that, here are four lessons Winston Churchill can teach us about perfecting our speeches and professional powerpoint presentations:

Speak in crisp and direct sentences.

As ugly and inconvenient as what you say may be, be straightforward in what you say and your audience will respect you. Winston says, “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”

Churchill’s examples of this:

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

“A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.”

Be eloquent and rhythmic in your vocabulary.

By this, I don’t mean stuff big words everywhere just to sound fancy. What I mean is that you should make the simplest form of whatever you’re saying into the most professional way it can be said. Churchill also had a melodious flow to his speeches, keeping the audience on their toes at all points throughout. At any rate, bettering your vocabulary can also be a very helpful activity for bettering your vocational skills. Learning 5 new words a day might be a great way to start…

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

Churchill utilizes repetition in almost ever single one of his speeches. He would consistently use phrases or words over and over again in the same breath to highlight a point.

Churchill’s examples of this:

“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”

“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

Ironical humor.

Churchill was known for his wit and word play. While wit seems like a more “born-with-it” sort of concept, one will surely develop it by knowing a certain concept through and through. Once you master a specific idea or issue, you will have the necessary background to react quickly and wittily to questions or comments you are confronted with. This ultimately comes down to practice; know what you are talking about and you will know what to say at all times.

Churchill’s examples of this:

 “If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.”

“We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.”

As one of the most revered leaders and orators in history, Winston Churchill changed the world with both his voice and his actions. Following and epitomizing Churchill in your next professional powerpoint presentation will be a great way to improve yourself as a public speaker and powerpoint expert.



Winston Churchill Quotes.BrainyQuote.

About Rick Enrico

Rick Enrico is the CEO & Founder of SlideGenius, Inc., a San Diego based marketing & software agency. Rick currently oversees an experienced team of talented designers, software developers and marketing professionals that specialize in creating custom corporate presentations and cloud publishing applications.Mr. Enrico and our team of PowerPoint design experts contribute to this blog frequently. If you have any questions or just want to drop us a line please forward them to admin (@) slidegenius.com

About SlideGenius

SlideGenius.com is your PowerPoint presentation specialist for business. Based in San Diego, California, SlideGenius has helped enhance the presentations of more than 1000+ clients all over the world, including J.P. Morgan, Harley-Davidson, Pfizer, Verizon, and Reebok, among others. Let us help you with your presentation needs!