Articles in category: Commentary

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

That’s my favorite quotation from one of the most famous speeches of all time: Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream“. I love not only the line’s message, but also the alliteration of the “k” sound: color, skin, content, character.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

See our previously published speech analysis where you can watch the video, study the speech transcript, and learn five lessons in speechwriting.

Six Minutes began 4 years ago.

The 10th article on this blog was a speech critique of Steve Jobs delivering the commencement address at Stanford in 2005.

To this day, it’s one of my favorite articles, because Steve Jobs was one of my favorite speakers and that address was one of my favorite speeches.

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Six weeks ago, we were fortunate to share Becky Blanton’s educational and inspirational story titled How to Deliver the Talk of Your Life. This was one of the most popular articles we’ve ever published on Six Minutes.

The focus of her article — her TEDGlobal 2009 talk — is now available on video. Watching it will be the best seven minutes of your day. Click here to watch it.

I am a Bert Decker fan. I subscribe to his blog and learn from him often. I’ve got his books on my wishlist.

But, after reading his “Top Ten Best (and Worst) Communicators of 2008” list, I’m confused — how did he get it wrong?

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008. History was made.

The immediate impact is tremendous, etched on the faces of millions as they watched the results and listened to the speeches. The longer-term impact has yet to be written.

While we can’t accurately predict the next four years, we can assess the speeches from election night. Both Barack Obama and John McCain received praise for their performances.

Watch the speeches, and then read the analysis from many sources.

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A few minutes ago, I received the following email from Angie Key (a fellow public speaking blogger and Toastmaster):

I know your blog has a significant readership … and especially since you did an interview with LaShunda recently, I wanted to share this with you:

Newest World Champion Fights for Her Life

Please check Angie’s blog for news and updates.

If you don’t recognize LaShunda’s name, you may wish to read more about her in the interview she recently did with Six Minutes where she kindly offered insights on her World Championship victory, her speaking career, and her remarkable life story.

Please include LaShunda in your thoughts.

Last week, we examined speech critiques of Barack Obama and others at the Democratic Convention 2008.

This week, it was the Republicans’ turn at the microphone with the whole world watching.

One by one, they spoke — John McCain, Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lieberman, Fred Thompson, Tom Ridge, and Cindy McCain.

One by one, they were critiqued — by Nick Morgan, John Watkis, Garr Reynolds, Bert Decker, and Denise Graveline.

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The 2008 Democratic Convention was an oratory feast.

One by one, they spoke — Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Maya Soetero-Ng, Jesse Jackson Jr., and Ted Kennedy.

One by one, they were critiqued — by Nick Morgan, John Watkis, Bert Decker, Denise Graveline, Terry Gault.

This article is a collection of speech videos and numerous speech critiques from public speaking experts.

Watch, listen, and learn from their strengths and weaknesses. Enjoy!

Republicans? John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the 2008 Republican convention speakers are critiqued here.

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Randy Pausch, the man who moved millions with his Last Lecture, died on July 25th.

Randy’s Last Lecture speech is one of the most inspirational presentations I’ve ever seen by anyone, in any context, at any time.

A book allows me to cover many, many more stories from my life and the attendant lessons I hope my kids can take from them. … The book is a far more personal look at my childhood dreams and all the lessons I’ve learned. Putting words on paper, I’ve found, was a better way for me to share all the yearnings I have regarding my wife, children and other loved ones.

I am deeply saddened that his candle burns no more, but I am joyful that it burned so bright. He taught so much to so many.