revolutionise your public speaking

Lecture notes 

Start Like you mean it

Revolutionaries don’t faff around or make excuses or start with chit chat. Have all your tech stuff ready (even though no revolutionaries I’ve ever seen use Powerpoint. Act like you have something important to say (because you do, whatever it is). Pause before you begin (it makes everything more dramatic). Make the first thing you say be powerful and set the tone for everything to come.

Check out how Martin Luther King starts his I Have A Dream speech. Boom.

Think about sound

Sound is important because it’s a speech. If people can’t hear you clearly they will zone out straight away. It sounds like obvious advice, but so many people get this wrong. If you’re using a mic you understand where to hold a mic to make the most of the amplification. Make sure it’s loud and test the level with the tech person before the event. And if you’re not using a mic talk twice as loud as you think you should (without doing weird acting or anything - still talk how you talk - but louder). If you struggle in this area you’d do well to see a voice coach. It will make a big difference. If you want to start a revolution, people are gonna need to hear what you’re actually saying.


The Gettysberg address changed speeches forever. It’s one of the most famous speeches in history. It was 2 minutes long. Write your speech, then spend loads of time making it shorter. Making things shorter without losing their power is difficult. But shorter is better.

talk in language that everyone can understand

Don’t show off by using words you don’t usually use to try to sound more intelligent. Noone cares and it makes you sound weird and inhuman. It actually stops people engaging with what you’re saying. The more people understand what you’re talking about the more powerful your speech will be. We live in an age of democracy (sort of). You need everyone on board. Speak to the masses. Again, it’s hard to get complicated ideas across in simple language. That’s actually a skill to value. Explaining complicated ideas in a complicated way is easy.


We understand the world in stories. Stories make people feel stuff. And making people feel stuff is how you start revolutions. But the stories have to be relevant. They have to have context. Like what Barak did in the speech that launched him at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 when noone had head of him.