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Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History's Greatest Speakers

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Turn Any Presentation into a Landmark Occasion Ever wish you could captivate your boardroom with the opening line of your presentation, like Winston Churchill in his most memorable speeches? Or want to command attention by looming larger than life before your audience, much like Abraham Lincoln when, standing erect and wearing a top hat, he towered over seven feet? Now, you Turn Any Presentation into a Landmark Occasion Ever wish you could captivate your boardroom with the opening line of your presentation, like Winston Churchill in his most memorable speeches? Or want to command attention by looming larger than life before your audience, much like Abraham Lincoln when, standing erect and wearing a top hat, he towered over seven feet? Now, you can master presentation skills, wow your audience, and shoot up the corporate ladder by unlocking the secrets of history's greatest speakers. Author, historian, and world-renowned speaker James C. Humes—who wrote speeches for five American presidents—shows you how great leaders through the ages used simple yet incredibly effective tricks to speak, persuade, and win throngs of fans and followers. Inside, you'll discover how Napoleon Bonaparte mastered the use of the pregnant pause to grab attention, how Lady Margaret Thatcher punctuated her most serious speeches with the use of subtle props, how Ronald Reagan could win even the most hostile crowd with carefully timed wit, and much, much more. Whether you're addressing a small nation or a large staff meeting, you'll want to master the tips and tricks in Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln. "As a student of speech, I very much enjoyed this intriguing historic approach to public speaking. Humes creates a valuable and practical guide." —Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO, FOX News "I love this book. I've followed Humes's lessons for years, and he combines them all into one compact, hard-hitting resource. Get this book on your desk now." —Chris Matthews, Hardball


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Turn Any Presentation into a Landmark Occasion Ever wish you could captivate your boardroom with the opening line of your presentation, like Winston Churchill in his most memorable speeches? Or want to command attention by looming larger than life before your audience, much like Abraham Lincoln when, standing erect and wearing a top hat, he towered over seven feet? Now, you Turn Any Presentation into a Landmark Occasion Ever wish you could captivate your boardroom with the opening line of your presentation, like Winston Churchill in his most memorable speeches? Or want to command attention by looming larger than life before your audience, much like Abraham Lincoln when, standing erect and wearing a top hat, he towered over seven feet? Now, you can master presentation skills, wow your audience, and shoot up the corporate ladder by unlocking the secrets of history's greatest speakers. Author, historian, and world-renowned speaker James C. Humes—who wrote speeches for five American presidents—shows you how great leaders through the ages used simple yet incredibly effective tricks to speak, persuade, and win throngs of fans and followers. Inside, you'll discover how Napoleon Bonaparte mastered the use of the pregnant pause to grab attention, how Lady Margaret Thatcher punctuated her most serious speeches with the use of subtle props, how Ronald Reagan could win even the most hostile crowd with carefully timed wit, and much, much more. Whether you're addressing a small nation or a large staff meeting, you'll want to master the tips and tricks in Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln. "As a student of speech, I very much enjoyed this intriguing historic approach to public speaking. Humes creates a valuable and practical guide." —Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO, FOX News "I love this book. I've followed Humes's lessons for years, and he combines them all into one compact, hard-hitting resource. Get this book on your desk now." —Chris Matthews, Hardball

30 review for Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History's Greatest Speakers

  1. 5 out of 5

    WhizKid

    (c.2002) 1. Power Pause. “Stand, Stare and Command” Stage silence before speak. Pause to absorb the question and put your thoughts into words. Frame your reply in your mind. Try to lock your eyes on each of your listeners. In your own mind each word of your opening sentence. Every second you wait strengthens the impact of your opening words. (=strategic silence) 2. Power Opener. "Being with a Bang!" Opening with a startling fact or dramatic news. Crushing a Cliché, and Parenthetical(delayed) Praise (c.2002) 1. Power Pause. “Stand, Stare and Command” Stage silence before speak. Pause to absorb the question and put your thoughts into words. Frame your reply in your mind. Try to lock your eyes on each of your listeners. In your own mind each word of your opening sentence. Every second you wait strengthens the impact of your opening words. (=strategic silence) 2. Power Opener. "Being with a Bang!" Opening with a startling fact or dramatic news. Crushing a Cliché, and Parenthetical(delayed) Praise. Start strongly instead of phrases of pleasantry. 3. Power Presence. "Signature Symbol" Let clothes proclaim your professionalism. Choose your garment intentionally. Princess Diana, Diane Sawyer, and Elizabeth Dole. 4. Power Point. "Stop, Think and Plan" Figure out ‘bottom-line purpose” your 1st priority. Find the message 1st and the words will follow. 5. Power Brief. "Don't Eat It All" "Terse is better than Tedious" Be short-by digesting and processing what others say, searching for a theme that wraps up what most are saying and then framing the gist of the discussion into one question. Shorter= shaper, memorable, powerful, unexpected, poise, decisive 6. Power Quote. "Produce, Present, Perform" Rule 1: Don’t refer to any author with whom you are unfamiliar quoting 2: Name should be recognizable (unless it’s unknown) and the quotations brief 3:Use only 1 per speech and dramatize it. 4: Start your own arsenal quotations from famous, crisp, memorable, a ringing echo of agreement in your mind. Categorize them alphabetically under topics. Action, brain, Change, decision, excellence, facts, history, idea, knowledge, question, solution, team, winner, etc. 7. Power Stat "Reduce, Round, Relate" Up front & exact figure: Immediate credibility. Roundly framed: memorability Reduce to one stat for key message. Round off to figures to base of ten or fractions involving 1st 10 numerals. Relate it to listeners by comparing to familiar, and use an odd number. 8. Power Outage. "Leader or Technician" "Any talk should be the oral projection of your personality, not mechanical projection." Prop, not a crutch. Reinforce, not replace. Speaker, not Introducer Self-explanatory, Simple Slides. S.L.I.D.E Slogan: Caption under each slide a slogan, punch line or 1 sentence phrase. No epistle. Large: Print of the slogan in LARGE CAPS Illustration: Simple and uncluttered. Directional: No stick or pointer Erase: Erase 1 pic before you move to the next one. In a series of slides, place black ones in btw. Speech: Don't read slide captions. 9. Power Wit. "Realistic, Relevant, don't Read" Joke vs. Wit(intelligence + humor) A part of anecdote, and parables. 10. Power Parable. "Parable power is persuasive power" Abstract word is ineffective without any picture. Turn concepts into concrete. 11. Power Gesture. "The Strong Silent" "George Washington's shyness and awkward speech belied his appearance. His solution was to become the prototype for the strong silent man." Silent signals can register even louder than speech. 12. Power Reading. "See-Pause-Say" Rule 1: Never let words come out of your moth when your eyes are looking down. 13. Power Poetry. "Let Layout Leap Out at You" Take your typed speech and space it out in Bite-size phrases. Come to a comma, cute the line off. If subj. followed by its predicate, don't separate. A preposition succeeded by its obj., don't dissect the two. Never end a line with 'a' or 'the' Halt at a period. 14. Power Line. C.R.E.A.M (as it rises to the top in a bottle of unhomogenized milk, lines with these 5 elements will stay put). Contrast: Use of antonyms. Rhyme: "Rhyming 9" AME, AIR, ITE, AKE, OW, AY, ATE, EEM, AIN Echo:Repeat a word in the 2nd phrase, Repeat noun, Repeat verb Alliteration: Use the Oxford Essential Thesaurus ($6). Isn't Arduous. Metaphor: Use of imagery and analogies(with everyday routines, familiar) 15. Power Question. "Simple Single line" Never ask a question if you are not sure of the answer (In context of proving a point). Rhetorical Qs-No expected answer-a speech device to motivate listeners to get involved (Plain and Blunt). 16. Power Word. "Pregnant Pause Before P.W" Introduce compelling words with a deliberate stuttering pause. Limit yourself to 1 'impact' word per talk/statement. 17. Power Active. "Cover-Your-Ass Passive" W.H.A.B(Overuse of the passive) Were Have, had Are,is Be, been 18. Power Dollar. "4 Ds" Defiance: You're doing a favor for listeners. Be cocky. Design: Paint a picture that you really care about. Donation: Double It, Specify Duel:After you ask, keep your mouth shut."never try to ask by letter, to go yourself is far better." 19. Power Button. "1 Per Speech" Only to spotlight a zinger line that you want to leave a burning hole in your listeners' ears. 20. Power Closer. "Crisp Closers-Electric Endings" Strong ending appeal to emotions. Look at closing style of Reagan and Churchill. 21. Power Audacity. "Dare to Be Different" Surprise your audience by demonstrating unexpected. Make moves that live in the memories of their listeners. "Can't gain podium power by doing the predicable and prosaic."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    The book goes through details of speaking from opening to ending. What I enjoyed most was the ideas, supporting facts, and real stories from famous speakers to illustrate the point. The reader will not only learn about speaking but gain quotes that are entertaining as well as meaningful. The reader will also learn lots of great historical facts that would make great trivia questions. The book is well written and researched. It is easy to read and delivers practical advice for speakers. Humes also The book goes through details of speaking from opening to ending. What I enjoyed most was the ideas, supporting facts, and real stories from famous speakers to illustrate the point. The reader will not only learn about speaking but gain quotes that are entertaining as well as meaningful. The reader will also learn lots of great historical facts that would make great trivia questions. The book is well written and researched. It is easy to read and delivers practical advice for speakers. Humes also shows how to apply the master tips and tricks to your own speeches. The author suggests buying a rhyming dictionary and keep it handy when writing a speech. The book is highly entertaining. Norman Dietz does a good job narrating the book. Dietz is an actor and award winning narrator.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    The book had great suggestions and helps for public speakers, but I didn't feel like Mr. Humes took his own advice. I felt like he said in three pages what could have been said in a paragraph. Read it for the good ideas, but feel free to skim. The book had great suggestions and helps for public speakers, but I didn't feel like Mr. Humes took his own advice. I felt like he said in three pages what could have been said in a paragraph. Read it for the good ideas, but feel free to skim.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cyndie Courtney

    A good public speaking book with lots of good general tips especially on the more artistic and stylistic elements of speaking. I especially liked the examples illustrating the use of poetic devices in speeches to make them more memorable. However, I just couldn't get over how WASPy this book was. Seemed clearly written by and for privileged white christian men looking for promotions within their company or how to be less shy next week at the Rotary. Some disquieting comments about how great it wa A good public speaking book with lots of good general tips especially on the more artistic and stylistic elements of speaking. I especially liked the examples illustrating the use of poetic devices in speeches to make them more memorable. However, I just couldn't get over how WASPy this book was. Seemed clearly written by and for privileged white christian men looking for promotions within their company or how to be less shy next week at the Rotary. Some disquieting comments about how great it was that FDR had to trick people into thinking he could walk and stand easily or how women should dress like Margaret Thatcher and not like hussies. Focused on these unique historical figures and the refreshing personality they brought to their speaking style, but spoke very little about the power of embracing a unique style. A good basic style of speaking book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robert Case

    A practical guide to leadership and effective communication, compiled into 21 easy to read and accessible chapters. I am keeping my copy near my desk for future reference.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Nguyễn

    Good tips on how to be a better public speaker. Applying it for my next speech, kaka. Aim to be another Franklin, or maybe "Silent Cal", or Abraham Lincoln, or George Washington one day, kakaka. Good tips on how to be a better public speaker. Applying it for my next speech, kaka. Aim to be another Franklin, or maybe "Silent Cal", or Abraham Lincoln, or George Washington one day, kakaka.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    Author, James C. Humes offers great tips on how to be a more effective public speaker. Supported by stories and anecdotes of some of history's greatest public speakers (Churchill, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan and others), Humes offers twenty-one pointers, each preceded by the word "Power": the Pause, Opener, Presence, Point, Brief, Quote, Stats, Outrage, Wit, Parable, Gesture, Reading, Poetry, Line, Question, Word, Active, Dollar, Button, Closer, Audacity. Not all of the above will be meaningful t Author, James C. Humes offers great tips on how to be a more effective public speaker. Supported by stories and anecdotes of some of history's greatest public speakers (Churchill, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan and others), Humes offers twenty-one pointers, each preceded by the word "Power": the Pause, Opener, Presence, Point, Brief, Quote, Stats, Outrage, Wit, Parable, Gesture, Reading, Poetry, Line, Question, Word, Active, Dollar, Button, Closer, Audacity. Not all of the above will be meaningful to the reader of this review until he/she has perused the book, but taken together, the suggestions, if followed, will increase the effectiveness of any speaker's delivery and import. Some may dismiss these directives as mere gimmicks, but they are not that. When adopted, and taken together, they can transform a mediocre speaker into a powerful orator. I was ask to give a talk the other day and used only the first two suggestions in my remarks: the Power Pause and the Power Opener. Afterwards, I was surprised that several people approached me to comment that was one of the best and most powerful talks they had heard me give (and I am not great speaker). Many of the anecdotes are quite funny, and regardless as to its use as a speakers' guide, the book makes for interesting and humorous reading. I disagreed with the author as to the effectiveness of speaking techniques used by some of the luminaries he referred to (ie., Douglas MacArthur and Bill Clinton), but for the most part, I felt the author was on track. A great read. I highly recommend the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    James

    This book has given me an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into speech preparation, and the benefits of the kind of presentation that's talked about - as opposed to purely preparing content and winging delivery. I didn't realise how much work Churchill must have put into the preparation of speeches, but he knew his stuff and he really worked hard at it. The long term aim of this speech writer seems to be that a single line is remembered from a speech (p41). That shows clearly the impo This book has given me an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into speech preparation, and the benefits of the kind of presentation that's talked about - as opposed to purely preparing content and winging delivery. I didn't realise how much work Churchill must have put into the preparation of speeches, but he knew his stuff and he really worked hard at it. The long term aim of this speech writer seems to be that a single line is remembered from a speech (p41). That shows clearly the importance of knowing your point. After this, I'd like to learn more of Churchill and Benjamin Franklin.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Toma

    Definitely one of the best public speaking books I've ever read. Combine it with a book/course on non-verbal communication and with practice you will become a rockstar! Definitely one of the best public speaking books I've ever read. Combine it with a book/course on non-verbal communication and with practice you will become a rockstar!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alan Wang

    *Listened in audiobook format during plane rides to Shanghai and from Tokyo* Solid advice, slightly unconventional. Serves as practical guide. A bit dragged out due to litany of examples to support each point. Could be much more concise in presentation. Author is high authority on the subject. 1) Power Pause - Before speaking draw attention with pause 2) Power Open - Never begin with the usual pleasantries. Grab attention instead - Give thanks in the middle of speech instead of at the beginning; perce *Listened in audiobook format during plane rides to Shanghai and from Tokyo* Solid advice, slightly unconventional. Serves as practical guide. A bit dragged out due to litany of examples to support each point. Could be much more concise in presentation. Author is high authority on the subject. 1) Power Pause - Before speaking draw attention with pause 2) Power Open - Never begin with the usual pleasantries. Grab attention instead - Give thanks in the middle of speech instead of at the beginning; perceived as more sincere 3) Power Presence - Including outfit and accessory 4) Power Point - One central theme 5) Power Brief - Speech should be able to be boiled down to 1 statement - You do not have to speak for the full time allotted 6) Power Quote - Dramatize the quote (take out paper, put on glasses, etc) - Feel comfortable with quote and how to pronounce source name - Prominent & Pithy - Keep to only 1 quote per speech, best used in the middle 7) Power Stat - Reduce (number of stats you give) - Round (instead of 59%, say 3 out of 5) - Relate (to audience, paint a picture - [i] dollar bills to the moon and back [/i]) - Exact figures increase credibility, but must be related in simple terms for audience to remember 8) Power Outage - Slides & visuals are no substitute for speaking - "The tongue can paint what the eye can't see" - Chinese proverb - If you need to explain a visual aid, don't use it - You don't explain slides; the slide explains you 9) Power Wit - Relate humorous anecdotes - Tell stories as if you had experienced them. Don't worry about stretching the truth a little - Relevant, Realistic, don't Read (tell!) 10) Power Parable - The Spineless Wonder - Winston Churchill 11) Power Gesture - Can sometimes replace words outright - Only really need to focus on one per speech - General demeanor & subtle movements (like pointing) signals a lot about you 12) Power Reading - Read a line, look up, pause, state the line. Look down to read another line 13) Power Poetry - Write a speech how it should be read with line breaks where you want to pause 14) Power Line - Contrast - Rhyme (internal as well as nursery) - Echo - Alliteration - Metaphor - Only need 1 or 2 per speech 15) Power Question - Penetrating - Only 1 per speech, or ask several consecutively to make your point 16) Power Word - Pause before you deliver the word that carries weight or is uncommonly used 17) Power Active - Use the active voice, not the passive - "Were, have, had, are, is" are examples of passive voice - Passive is for cover your ass types, not for take charge leaders 18) Power Dollar (how to persuade) - Defiance - don't be supplicating when asking for favor - Design - paint a picture - Donation - have specific number in mind - Duel - wait (don't speak) after you ask 19) Power Button (setting up the power line) - Tells audience "Ready, Set, Listen" - Ex. "And so let me reassert my firm belief..." - Ex. "I would say to those..." - Only use 1 per speech 20) Power Closer - Appeal to emotion - Can relate an old story and make it relevant 21) Power Audacity - Dare to be different - Surprise your audience

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    Humorous anecdotes and great insights culled from close study of several of our greatest orators--Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan--put together by a man who served as speechwriter for five U.S. Presidents make for a tremendous read. This was lots of fun, and I learned a lot about excellent oratory and quite a few good tips that work for the written language as well. I will buy a copy and read and apply quite a few of his principles.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol Mann Agency

    "As a student of speech, I very much enjoyed this intriguing historic approach to public speaking. Humes creates a valuable and practical guide." —Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO, FOX News "I love this book. I've followed Humes's lessons for years, and he combines them all into one compact, hard-hitting resource. Get this book on your desk now." —Chris Matthews, Hardball "As a student of speech, I very much enjoyed this intriguing historic approach to public speaking. Humes creates a valuable and practical guide." —Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO, FOX News "I love this book. I've followed Humes's lessons for years, and he combines them all into one compact, hard-hitting resource. Get this book on your desk now." —Chris Matthews, Hardball

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Enjoyable read. Lots of Churchill quotes. Apparently Churchill is quoted more than anyone in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. With credit to the reviewer WhizKid, here are the "secrets" discussed in the book: 1. Power Pause. “Stand, Stare and Command” Stage silence before speak. Pause to absorb the question and put your thoughts into words. Frame your reply in your mind. Try to lock your eyes on each of your listeners. In your own mind each word of your opening sentence. Every second you wait streng Enjoyable read. Lots of Churchill quotes. Apparently Churchill is quoted more than anyone in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. With credit to the reviewer WhizKid, here are the "secrets" discussed in the book: 1. Power Pause. “Stand, Stare and Command” Stage silence before speak. Pause to absorb the question and put your thoughts into words. Frame your reply in your mind. Try to lock your eyes on each of your listeners. In your own mind each word of your opening sentence. Every second you wait strengthens the impact of your opening words. (=strategic silence) 2. Power Opener. "Being with a Bang!" Opening with a startling fact or dramatic news. Crushing a Cliché, and Parenthetical(delayed) Praise. Start strongly instead of phrases of pleasantry. 3. Power Presence. "Signature Symbol" Let clothes proclaim your professionalism. Choose your garment intentionally. Princess Diana, Diane Sawyer, and Elizabeth Dole. 4. Power Point. "Stop, Think and Plan" Figure out ‘bottom-line purpose” your 1st priority. Find the message 1st and the words will follow. 5. Power Brief. "Don't Eat It All" "Terse is better than Tedious" Be short-by digesting and processing what others say, searching for a theme that wraps up what most are saying and then framing the gist of the discussion into one question. Shorter= shaper, memorable, powerful, unexpected, poise, decisive 6. Power Quote. "Produce, Present, Perform" Rule 1: Don’t refer to any author with whom you are unfamiliar quoting 2: Name should be recognizable (unless it’s unknown) and the quotations brief 3:Use only 1 per speech and dramatize it. 4: Start your own arsenal quotations from famous, crisp, memorable, a ringing echo of agreement in your mind. Categorize them alphabetically under topics. Action, brain, Change, decision, excellence, facts, history, idea, knowledge, question, solution, team, winner, etc. 7. Power Stat "Reduce, Round, Relate" Up front & exact figure: Immediate credibility. Roundly framed: memorability Reduce to one stat for key message. Round off to figures to base of ten or fractions involving 1st 10 numerals. Relate it to listeners by comparing to familiar, and use an odd number. 8. Power Outage. "Leader or Technician" "Any talk should be the oral projection of your personality, not mechanical projection." Prop, not a crutch. Reinforce, not replace. Speaker, not Introducer Self-explanatory, Simple Slides. S.L.I.D.E Slogan: Caption under each slide a slogan, punch line or 1 sentence phrase. No epistle. Large: Print of the slogan in LARGE CAPS Illustration: Simple and uncluttered. Directional: No stick or pointer Erase: Erase 1 pic before you move to the next one. In a series of slides, place black ones in btw. Speech: Don't read slide captions. 9. Power Wit. "Realistic, Relevant, don't Read" Joke vs. Wit(intelligence + humor) A part of anecdote, and parables. 10. Power Parable. "Parable power is persuasive power" Abstract word is ineffective without any picture. Turn concepts into concrete. 11. Power Gesture. "The Strong Silent" "George Washington's shyness and awkward speech belied his appearance. His solution was to become the prototype for the strong silent man." Silent signals can register even louder than speech. 12. Power Reading. "See-Pause-Say" Rule 1: Never let words come out of your moth when your eyes are looking down. 13. Power Poetry. "Let Layout Leap Out at You" Take your typed speech and space it out in Bite-size phrases. Come to a comma, cute the line off. If subj. followed by its predicate, don't separate. A preposition succeeded by its obj., don't dissect the two. Never end a line with 'a' or 'the' Halt at a period. 14. Power Line. C.R.E.A.M (as it rises to the top in a bottle of unhomogenized milk, lines with these 5 elements will stay put). Contrast: Use of antonyms. Rhyme: "Rhyming 9" AME, AIR, ITE, AKE, OW, AY, ATE, EEM, AIN Echo:Repeat a word in the 2nd phrase, Repeat noun, Repeat verb Alliteration: Use thesaurus. Metaphor: Use of imagery and analogies (with everyday routines, familiar) 15. Power Question. "Simple Single line" Never ask a question if you are not sure of the answer (In context of proving a point). Rhetorical Qs-No expected answer-a speech device to motivate listeners to get involved (Plain and Blunt). 16. Power Word. "Pregnant Pause Before P.W" Introduce compelling words with a deliberate stuttering pause. Limit yourself to 1 'impact' word per talk/statement. 17. Power Active. Avoid passive voice. W.H.A.B(Overuse of the passive) Were Have, had Are,is Be, been 18. Power Dollar. "4 Ds" Defiance: You're doing a favor for listeners. Be cocky. Design: Paint a picture that you really care about. Donation: Double It, Specify Duel:After you ask, keep your mouth shut."never try to ask by letter, to go yourself is far better." 19. Power Button. "1 Per Speech" Only to spotlight a zinger line that you want to leave a burning hole in your listeners' ears. 20. Power Closer. "Crisp Closers-Electric Endings" Strong ending appeal to emotions. Look at closing style of Reagan and Churchill. 21. Power Audacity. "Dare to Be Different" Surprise your audience by demonstrating unexpected. Make moves that live in the memories of their listeners. "Can't gain podium power by doing the predicable and prosaic."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    One of the best books that I've ever reading about speaking. One of the best books that I've ever reading about speaking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Isaacs

    Great speaking advice!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Scotti

    It’s often said that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Well, it turns out you can’t always judge a book by its title, either. At first, I dismissed James Humes’ Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln, assuming it would be full of historical platitudes and anecdotal stories rather than actionable advice. Instead, I discovered a terrific reference tool for novice and seasoned presenters alike – including me. Each of the 21 chapters in this surprisingly quick read offers solid advice for enhanci It’s often said that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Well, it turns out you can’t always judge a book by its title, either. At first, I dismissed James Humes’ Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln, assuming it would be full of historical platitudes and anecdotal stories rather than actionable advice. Instead, I discovered a terrific reference tool for novice and seasoned presenters alike – including me. Each of the 21 chapters in this surprisingly quick read offers solid advice for enhancing your presentation skills, using examples from some of history’s most powerfully memorable speakers. Author Humes knows his stuff — this author, professor and speechwriter for five American presidents is a noted authority on the speaking habits of Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Ronald Reagan, and others. Focusing on what the author calls “21 Power Secrets,” Humes provides the tools to electrify discussions and persuade and capture any audience’s attention. In fact, regular SpeakerNotes readers will find several parallels between Humes’ advice and the C.O.D.E process outlined in our July 2009 entry, including identifying your core message and organizing your content so it always remains front and center. Three of Hume’s secrets — Power Pause, Power Point, and Power Reading — are techniques that I’ve found over the course of my 25-year coaching career to be consistently challenging for even the most experienced presenter, yet critical to every high-stakes presentation. Here are some of the author’s tips to integrate into your own preparation: Power Pause Most speakers begin by offering thanks and appreciation for the opportunity to speak. Don’t! Before saying a word, take the time to look directly into the eyes of your listeners. Greet them with a warm smile, then slowly deliver your opening sentence — knowing that every moment you wait strengthens the impact of your opening words. This power pause draws the undivided attention of your audience and leaves them better prepared to listen to your message. Power Point No, we’re not talking about slides! Hume’s power point is the bottom line key message you want to leave with your audience. If you want to be heard, understood and achieve results, you must first “stop, think and plan” your power point. As Humes suggests, determine what you want your audience to do and craft your presentation accordingly. Power Reading It’s one of the cardinal rules of effective speaking…never let words come out of your mouth while your eyes are looking down. Looking down disconnects you from the audience and means you are speaking at them, not to them. Mastering the skill of power reading means looking down to see the text, looking up — all the way up — and pausing, then conversationalizing the phrase you’ve just recorded in your mind. Although this technique may feel awkward at first, with practice it will become second nature. Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln supported many of the proven tools in my coaching arsenal, and gave me some new tips for reinforcing them in the minds of my clients. Try some of James Humes’ 21 secrets and let me know how they help you forge more powerful connections with your next audience!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    While this book certainly contains some tips and advice you can use to improve the quality of your speeches, this book doesn't live up to its name. Mostly a collection of interesting anecdotes and pieces of famous speeches (occasionally interspersed with the writer's own less-impressive work), I found this book to be tedious and poorly written. While I'm sure Mr. Humes is a good speech writer given his employment record, he has attempted to write a book leaning heavily on his ability to write a c While this book certainly contains some tips and advice you can use to improve the quality of your speeches, this book doesn't live up to its name. Mostly a collection of interesting anecdotes and pieces of famous speeches (occasionally interspersed with the writer's own less-impressive work), I found this book to be tedious and poorly written. While I'm sure Mr. Humes is a good speech writer given his employment record, he has attempted to write a book leaning heavily on his ability to write a completely different type of work and his frequent attempts to showcase his own work alongside history's greatest orations is a little annoying (unless, I suppose, his goal is to show you a more achievable level of writing). The writer also has a clear political bias which he hamfistedly inserts into his writing over and over, which is wearying in an instructive work no matter what side of the aisle you're on. The book has also not aged well, although that can be forgiven to an extent (examples of K-Mart being a good example of transitioning with changing markets to stay in business, references to companies or products that don't exist anymore making the accompanying analogies slightly more obtuse). There is an odd chapter on negotiation which has tenuous ties to the rest of the book and a chapter on how you should dress (hint: very conservatively) that both are well outside of the writer's area of expertise and are just puzzling. Unless you are completely new to giving talks and conventional wisdom about them, skip this, read a book of famous speeches, and maybe watch a 10 minute Ted Talk on public speaking and odds are good you'll be miles ahead of where this book will leave you. I give it two stars because I thought the chapter on how to write out speeches was useful, although like most of the book it could have been exemplified with significantly less examples and fluff. I was super excited about this book based on the recommendation I had received and, admittedly, the title. So maybe if you expect less, your experience will be better, but there are other books that give you more in exchange for your time.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jaron Dunford

    Notes: If you want to sound like a leader, start strongly. Mediocre speakers meander in their opening phrases of pleasantry. The difference between so-so and superb speakers is often this: One begins banally, the other with a bang What’s your QED – Quod Erat Demonstrada. Don’t you remember your geometry. What’s the bottom line. In one sentence! What is it you want your audience to do when the speech is over? If you do not know that before you start to write the talk, you’re wasting your gosh darn Notes: If you want to sound like a leader, start strongly. Mediocre speakers meander in their opening phrases of pleasantry. The difference between so-so and superb speakers is often this: One begins banally, the other with a bang What’s your QED – Quod Erat Demonstrada. Don’t you remember your geometry. What’s the bottom line. In one sentence! What is it you want your audience to do when the speech is over? If you do not know that before you start to write the talk, you’re wasting your gosh darn time and my time. Harold, when you rose you didn’t know what you were going to say, when you were speaking you didn’t know what you were saying, and when you finished you didn’t know what you had said. The exceptional is often doing the unexpected. Advertising execs tell me that the newspaper ad with the most impact is the full page with only one sentence of small print in the center. A whole page is bought but not filled up; only a piece of it is used. But what impact it delivers. When reading off numbers to prove a point, ask yourself what are you seeking: credibility at the time of your talk, or memorability that will stay in your listeners minds for at least the next week. We easily remember fractions involving the first ten numerals. We readily grasp one-half, one-third and so on. So don’t say 59.4% of vehicles, try saying 3 out of 5. Lay out your lines like poetry. Power of a question: Do you feel better off today than you did four years ago? Then vote for president carter, but if you don’t, vote for me. It is obligatory that all, illumination be extinguished before the premises are vacated = put out the lights when you leave. Speak simple. Whab is flabby and blabby. Were, have, had, are, is, be, been. Check for these words. They promote passiveness. When writing an article you can bold, italicize, underline. But can you bold, italicize or underline when you are speaking. Crisp closer. Electric endings. Terminal tearjerkers. These are devices for a finish.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Wow! So I just gave this one a try, just by the title (obviously not the ideal way to pick a book). At first I was not enjoying it and thinking it was a bit of a waste of my time and generic. But, half way through I started to respect the advice the author gave. He is just about as experienced as you can get with speeches. He has written speeches for multiple presidents, collaborated and worked with many other presidential speech writers, consults for CEO's speeches, and has done a number of per Wow! So I just gave this one a try, just by the title (obviously not the ideal way to pick a book). At first I was not enjoying it and thinking it was a bit of a waste of my time and generic. But, half way through I started to respect the advice the author gave. He is just about as experienced as you can get with speeches. He has written speeches for multiple presidents, collaborated and worked with many other presidential speech writers, consults for CEO's speeches, and has done a number of personal speeches in his own work and political career. On top of all that, he taught leadership language and public speaking at multiple colleges. Fabulous resource for presenters and wonderful quotes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bernadette Martinez

    This blowhard has archaic notions about how he thinks women should dress and behave and lines nothing more than hearing the sound of his own voice. He idolizes old white men to the extent is fetishism and seems to think there is no place for anything other than his own way of doing anything. He's an outdated, name dropping has been who only wants to remind anyone who will listen of all the things he's done and why he's right and everything else is wrong. The way he raises his voice to portray a This blowhard has archaic notions about how he thinks women should dress and behave and lines nothing more than hearing the sound of his own voice. He idolizes old white men to the extent is fetishism and seems to think there is no place for anything other than his own way of doing anything. He's an outdated, name dropping has been who only wants to remind anyone who will listen of all the things he's done and why he's right and everything else is wrong. The way he raises his voice to portray a female speaking is not only insulting, but blatantly sexist. This book was a struggle from start to finish and is pure garbage on it's best day.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Be a Power Speaker This book is consistently quotable. In every chapter there’s an anecdote or a quote that is fun and lively and useful in other contexts. The author has a ton of public speaking experience and is willing to share it with the reader in a pleasant and entertaining way. Though you won’t get much help with the content of a speech per say, you will get help with crafting the message and your delivery. I recommend it to anyone who wants to get better at public speaking.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    It's what all of these books are. The audacity chapter is funny, though, given that it starts with "muh Ben Franklin...", which is absolutely edgy and unexpected. Who would mention Ben Franklin in a positive light? That's so totally crazy and out there. Man. This guy is a crazy edgy guy. Wow. Such woke, so wow. I'm enthralled by this work, and will act as the author's golem, out in the world, with his script in my head. That's how sold I am. It's what all of these books are. The audacity chapter is funny, though, given that it starts with "muh Ben Franklin...", which is absolutely edgy and unexpected. Who would mention Ben Franklin in a positive light? That's so totally crazy and out there. Man. This guy is a crazy edgy guy. Wow. Such woke, so wow. I'm enthralled by this work, and will act as the author's golem, out in the world, with his script in my head. That's how sold I am.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Helfren Filex

    Stage silence before you start talking. The strategic delay, and build a frame in your mind before you answers any questions and use gaze to maximize the power pause. The prime time of any speech is the opening talk. The powerful opener really amplifies the strength of your delivery and improves reception of your audience. Bottom line message is important. If you don't know what you want the audience do after your speech, your message will fails. Stage silence before you start talking. The strategic delay, and build a frame in your mind before you answers any questions and use gaze to maximize the power pause. The prime time of any speech is the opening talk. The powerful opener really amplifies the strength of your delivery and improves reception of your audience. Bottom line message is important. If you don't know what you want the audience do after your speech, your message will fails.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Godwin

    The book has some insights to help the modern reader but is very focused on predominantly white and Christian and male speakers. Throughout the time mentioned many other authors and orators could have been used as an example to turn to. Yes. I am fully aware of the title including 2 white men but as he weaves in other speakers like Thatcher and MLK he could use more for a diverse audience and highlight other speakers.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christian Hartman

    3.5 Stars - Many useful tips, quotes, and anecdotes, as well as timeless, sundry wisdom mixed in with a hearty serving of, now easily identified, outdated advice. Best part of the book is his advice on pacing each speech on the page in a poetical form, as it should be spoken, incredibly useful and inspiring for elevating any speech that we wouldn’t normally consider “a speech” on our day to day professional lives.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nathaniel

    Humes writes a wonderful and captivating guide to breaking away from usual mistakes that people make anytime they stand in front of large audiences or small audiences . " let the facts speak for themselves" is only useful for those who are afraid of guiding people into making a conclusion they otherwise would not have made if it werent for those guiding them. Humes writes a wonderful and captivating guide to breaking away from usual mistakes that people make anytime they stand in front of large audiences or small audiences . " let the facts speak for themselves" is only useful for those who are afraid of guiding people into making a conclusion they otherwise would not have made if it werent for those guiding them.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Reffert

    James Humes does an incredible job of using clear prose to explain some amazing tips and tricks of crafting and presenting an image not just during a speaking engagement but also in life. My particular favorite is the section on the Power Pause, Power Gesture, and use of accessories and signature symbols to form ones image. Loved it! Highly recommend!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Ammons

    Some great suggestions and guidance in here. The book feels antiquated though, there are a few vaguely sexist jokes or anecdotes referenced in the book and a testimonial by Roger Ailes on the back doesn't help. If you can overlook that though, there are some good tips for writing and delivering more impactful speaches. Some great suggestions and guidance in here. The book feels antiquated though, there are a few vaguely sexist jokes or anecdotes referenced in the book and a testimonial by Roger Ailes on the back doesn't help. If you can overlook that though, there are some good tips for writing and delivering more impactful speaches.

  29. 4 out of 5

    James Chessor

    This book is my personal favorite so far this year. It is stacked full of great advice for anyone who speaks, teaches or preaches. It is entertaining and filled with hilarious and powerful antidotes.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Tips on how to make a speech more effective using various past historical and political examples. The 21 tips are helpful not only for personal speaking, but for listening to others speak. Why are some speakers so effective and what tools do they use is the basis of this book.

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