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insights on communication skills

Insights on Communication Skills and Relationship Building

10 Tidbits and 1 Persuasive Speech for Sir Winston Churchill Day

Posted by Bridget Beirne on April 8, 2014

History has shown us a few stunning speakers over hundreds of years. Speakers that endure as a kind of human public speaking course; that seem to be born to communicate, to lead, to inspire. Not the least of these is Sir Winston Churchill, a voice that lead the people of Britain, as well as the world, through some of the bleakest times in human history.

Today is Winston Churchill Day, and in honor of one of the titans of persuasive speech we are sharing 10 Tidbits to reflect on and 1 clip of one of his most famous speeches, the Address to Harrow School. It is simply one of the most impressive examples of public speaking 3 to 5 minutes in length that you can hear. (It can be difficult to move your audience in that brief window of time!) While the speech itself was longer, this bite-sized cut packs a persuasive punch.

Churchill had the ability to simultaneously calm and inspire his audience- his reassuring tones and even delivery portrayed a man who could be swayed by nothing, the stalwart port in the storm. He coupled that ability with a simple passion, an understated yet rousing energy that stirred his people to his side. Rare is the speaker that can achieve the balance between the two; able to calm without downplaying issues, yet inspire without resorting to simply shouting unconnected rhetoric.  Here are 10 Tidbits you may have forgotten (or might not have known) about Sir Winston Churchill:

10 Tidbits:

  1. The Address at Harrow School gave us one of Churchill's most famous (and oft misquoted...) quotes: Persuasive-speech-Winston-Churchill-Day"Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never. In nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense."

  2. He was the first person to receive an honorary citizenship of the United States. The honor was bestowed on him by President Kennedy. (Incidentally, his mother was an American.)

  3. In addition to twice being Prime Minister of England (1940-1945, 1951-1955) he also held numerous other posts in the government such as Minister of Defense, First Lord of the Admiralty, Chancellor of the Exchequer and more.

  4. For all of his impressive achievements, Churchill was a poor student as a child.

  5. Churchill himself said he had a "speech impediment"- he had a lisp. He worked with it all his life. It didn't stop him from being a renowned speaker.

  6. He played polo, and was apparently pretty good at it.

  7. He was a greatly published war correspondent during his time in the military, and a respected author. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953.

  8. He did not say either "Speak softly and carry a big stick" nor "Nothing to fear but fear itself"- both of those quotes were from Roosevelts. (Theodore and Franklin Delano, repsectively.)

  9. He DID say, "If you're going through hell, keep going."

  10. He also said, "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."

And 1 Persuasive Speech:

(Can't get enough examples of persuasive speeches? Revisit Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream Speech here.)

 

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