I just listened to an old speech by Martin Luther King Jr. from April 4th, 1967 at the Riverside Church in New York City. It wasn’t his most famous speech, but perhaps one of his most underrated. In this speech he changed his course and for the first time spoke out openly against the US government and the Vietnam war. One year later, to the day, he was killed. That day he chose a calm and explaining voice, not the well known, fiery voice of “I’ve been to the Mountaintop…”. He chose calm, but lit a fire of controversy and discussion. What speaking choices are you making?
I won’t comment on politics or racial equality right now, but I do wish to talk about speaking. The voice of Martin Luther King Jr. helped to change the world. Yours can as well. Learning to become a more powerful communicator is one of the most important callings in life.
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
In today’s polarised world, we need your voice. If you want to become a great speaker, then learn from the speakers you admire. Learn from MLK. Learn from Barack Obama. Learn from JK Rowling. Learn from Gandhi, but most importantly, speak up! Use your voice.