Category: motivational speeches

NOT The “I Have a Dream” Speech.

MLK mugshot: Birmingham, AL, 1963.

MLK mugshot: Birmingham, AL, 1963. Photo in public domain.

The Martin Luther King holiday often features stills and videos of Dr. King delivering his “I Have a Dream” during the March on Washington in 1963. And it is a brilliant speech.

But it is not his only brilliant speech. Dr. King, of course, delivered many more.

Since Norway has been in the news in the United States and around the world lately, (and January 15 is Dr. King’s actual birthday) today is the perfect day to present Dr. King’s Nobel acceptance speech and lecture.

In both the acceptance speech and lecture, he both indicts an unjust society while remaining boldly optimistic that it can change. It is quite the balancing act.

It is a balancing act that we are still trying to achieve: overcoming our “moral and spiritual lag” by choosing and embracing love.

(Recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize are selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The committee members are appointed by the Norwegian Parliament. Dr. King was the youngest recipient of the award at the time.)

A few excerpts. First, from his acceptance speech:

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Unexpectedly Fresh.

We’ve all heard the adage, It’s not how you start, but how you finish.

That’s not quite true when it comes to giving a speech, talk or presentation. How you begin matters. It sets the tone. So start fresh by grabbing the audience’s attention.

One way to do so? Use the unexpected. Continue reading

Passion in Action

Super Bowl Sunday is around the corner! You may have noticed.

So as a warm up to the big day, I’m sharing a few speeches from one of my favorite football players: former Baltimore Raven and future Hall of Famer, Ray Lewis.

Yesterday I talked about the importance of demonstrating passion in what we do, whether it’s delivering a speech or riding an indoor cycle. And no one personifies passion more than Lewis, both on and off the field.

No wonder Lewis is such a sought-after speaker for both professional and collegiate audiences alike.

Lewis is powerful and humble at once. You’re ready to take to the football field after hearing him speak, even if you’ve never donned shoulder pads and cleats–and know that you never will.

That’s what good speakers do: they tap their passion to speak with conviction, inspiring their audiences to act: to work harder and aim higher in all of life’s arenas.

We should all try to emulate Lewis’ example when we speak: tap your passion, and leave your mark.

I expect the current players to do the same. Who will seize the day, and play and speak with passion? There’s no bigger stage than the Super Bowl to do so.

I’ll be watching!