Public Speaking & Leadership Lessons of Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King - One of the best public speakers and leaders the world has ever known.

On this MLK day we should give pause to remember the brilliance and contribution of the Dr. Martin Luther King. He is a shining example of the best of humanity and the overwhelming power of well developed human communication skills. Without question, MLK is one of the greatest public speakers & leaders of our recent time – if not all time. He lead the world toward a very necessary change and began a progression towards a more just society. This leads me to the obvious question: What made him so successful as a speaker and a leader?


Many believe that speaking and leadership are skills we are born with – this can’t be further from the truth. In the case of MLK, he had much practice that yielded him outstanding public speaking & communication skills. Decades as a minister, activist and peace activist he honed the skills that made him a master communicator destined to change the course of history. His example emphasizes the value practice should have to all aspiring speakers of any kind.


Passion is a critical aspect of communication success. MLK’s passion and zeal for political change couldn’t be fabricated – it has to come from the very core of his being. We could see it in his actions & body language, and hear it in his voice He was an electric and energizing speaker that left us wanting to follow in his footsteps. This passion is a key element you should embrace in your speaking capacities.


Much has been written and studied to validate the power of purpose. MLK was the embodiment of a life of purpose driven leadership. He took action on what mattered and went about communicating the positive change and future he envisioned for the world. This is exactly the path of a successful speaker (and person for that matter.)

MLK began a powerful social& political progression that continues today. You too are capable of greatness as a speaker and a leader. Why not rise to it with effective speaking skills and change the world in the ways that matter to you? We may not all change the course of history but we can make a positive contribution to your customers, a non-profit cause or the world at large. If we summon but 1/100th of his skill, capacity and spirit we will be on the right path – regardless of our destination. His reverend life remains an exemplary call to action for us all as speakers and leaders. How will you use practice, passion and purpose to improve your public speaking and leadership skill while honoring the great work of MLK? What is your life mission? How will you use your unique skills and talents and a speaker/leader to get there?

Joseph Guarino is a professional public speaker, trainer and owner of the Institute of Public Speaking a Boston based international public speaking & leadership training organization. As a seasoned public speaking trainer & professional speaker he enjoys helping other succeed in this worthy and rewarding craft. The Institute of Public Speaking offers a variety of public speaking courses for individuals (1 on 1 training), executive speech coaching, one day public speaking bootcamps, advanced public speaking bootcamps and public speaking seminars for corporations & groups of any size.
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