Last time I shared some of the most WOW presentations ever given in
history in order for you to learn from, borrow from and be inspired by.
In this post we will listen to two more powerful speeches from the great leaders of the past. And we will continue to hear first hand what matters in making a great presentation.
Now for one of the most famous speeches in American history, a speech that would help shape the mindset of a generation and the future of a nation.
John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address is undisputedly one of the greatest ever. The speech launched Kennedy’s Administration into a stratosphere of public approval from which it never slipped.
To remind you of the context, this very young president was coming into power at the height of the Cold War. JFK’s task was twofold: to represent the United States as a force to be reckoned with while also maintaining peaceful international relations—a daunting proposition, to say the least.
The last few minutes of that historical speech truly changed the course of history.
The lesson I want to pass forth is this: Sometimes you need to inspire your audience and sometimes inspiration alone isn’t enough. Sometimes you need to both inspire and challenge. Using a challenge in your presentations is an important device to engage, enroll and activate your audiences.
Now certainly one of the most difficult speeches one has ever had to give was by President Reagan after the space shuttle Challenger broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean.
In a speech made from the Oval Office on January 28, 1986, President Reagan postponed his State of the Union address to “mourn seven heroes” killed in the accident. He has us understand he knows what we are feeling and going through.
He even takes a moment in the speech to specially address the American schoolchildren who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s takeoff and he states, “It’s all a part of the process of exploration and discovery.”
When listening to his national address in its entirety, hear how he re-instills our hope and confidence by expressing his continued confidence in the space program…
How did both of the powerful speeches make you feel. Think about the
speeches you’ve heard that related to a particular tough or challenging time in
your life. What was it that made the words so emotionally moving or inspiring?
That’s it for this week! Next week, join me again as I share another round of WOW presentations. And I must admit, the last one is one of my all-time favorites!
to be continued . . . . .