I recently finished reading through James C. Humes’ book on 21 public speaking tips called Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln. It was incredibly insightful and immensely practical. Humes draws upon a wealth of experience as a public speaker and as a speechwriter. While I’ve read plenty of books on public speaking and preaching, most of them fall far short of the intended desire. I’d couple this book with Confessions of a Public Speaker as top recommendations for others. Since public speaking is one of people’s greatest collective fears, it is incredibly beneficial to have practical advice to help you plan and gain confidence.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
Churchill once said that a speech is like a symphony. It may have three movements but must have one dominant melody.
Listening to a long speech can seem like reading a book without punctuation.
For any presentation or talk, youâ€™ll be wise to observe what I call the three Râ€™s of numbers: Reduce, Round, and Relate.
My response to the Chinese adage â€œOne picture [may be] worth a thousand wordsâ€ is another Chinese saying: â€œThe tongue can paint what the eye canâ€™t see.â€
The difference between a joke and humor is the difference between a pornographic picture and a love scene in a good movie.
Follow the three Râ€™s of presenting humorâ€”make it Realistic, make it Relevant, and donâ€™t Read it!
If you are interested in other public speaking tips, also check out my tips on how to use an iPad for public speaking.