Speaking as a Leader | Thanks for your Vote!

Speak as a Leader: 10 weeks email-driven course

Congratulations on Making a Decision – Best Speaker

Congratulations from Conor

What did you see in today’s speaker that you can use in your own approach to speaking?

What did they do that made their speech so compelling?

A friend once told me: if a good speech is interrupted by a fire alarm…  the audience will come find the speaker outside and say “what next? please continue!”

What does it take to capture the audience’s interest and imagination so that they want to hear your message?

What did today’s speaker do to get that connection with you?

Well done.  Great reflections.

You have my respect for staying on this journey.

– Conor


Use the comments below for any questions you have about the course or this particular exercise.

38 responses to “Speaking as a Leader | Thanks for your Vote!”

  1. Aladesua Timilehin Avatar
    Aladesua Timilehin

    I voted for Steve Jobs because I liked the way he started by complimenting the audience. And within 60 seconds he was able to give a highlight of what he wanted to say. He also asked a question saying, “why did I drop out?” which I believe is powerful enough to make the audience become curious and want to continue listening. He also was able to maintain eye contacts with the people at his left and right-hand side. And even though reading from a paper, he seemed to speak from his heart. Also, he’s quite slow enough to get the audience to follow and comprehend his story.

  2. I found myself enjoying JJ Abrams speech the most; I think he engaged the best with the audience over the opening sixty seconds. I wanted to continue watching his video the most; perhaps because I had seen Steve Jobs video before I was less interested in his. Elizabeth came across to me as the most polished/professional within the first 60 seconds. Jeff seemed a bit boring (to me). Seth’s was another I enjoyed but seemed a bit haphazard; I didn’t get the context of his story, so I was left wondering what was the point he was getting at.

    1. 😉

  3. I vote for Steve Jobs. The first 60 seconds of his speech sounded relaxed and thoughtful. He really connected with the audience from the beginning. Calmness and not rushing words is what I’m taking here👌

  4. Matthew M. Okao Avatar
    Matthew M. Okao

    I voted Steve Jobs for the eloquence and i love the personal story, his speech is very connected to the kind of people i have to be addressing every time.

  5. I like the way Steve Jobs start his speech ,the common thing was that they start there speeches with stories to grab attention ,its unique to share own words because our emotions related to that stories also start emerging 🙂

  6. What I loved in Seth’s talk, that he knows he is giving a talk in a conference room, so he is moving around and he has some materials to match with the story, he is talking precise and clear (not in grammar, he explicitly explains something).

    The other speaker’s more like trying to align with the people and trying to start to talk and figure out to catch attention. Seth and Abrams have not started in that way. They are more like, took the attention already.

    I think Seth has more catchy start, so I voted to Seth Godin.

  7. Hi Conor,
    I watched all speeches, Jeff Bezos and Steve Job’s speech was so effective. They both shared their personal life experiences and lessons that made me watch whole the speech.Though I’ve watched Steve Job’s speech, I watched it again. He is an amazing person. It was hard to stop the speech of Jeff Bezos after 60 seconds.When I started to watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s speech the idea about creativity that she shared, got my attention and then I was just listening to her carefully. that speech was too compelling.
    JJ Abrams connected with the audience by his sense of humor and enthusiasm.
    Seth Godin’s speech was full of energy.
    Thank you, Sir.

  8. I enjoyed JJ’s speech. All great speeches. Seen some of them before, but JJ made me laugh and then followed up with a story. I haven’t watched the whole thing, but it looks like its going to be a great speech.

  9. Teresa ogbi uwajeh Avatar
    Teresa ogbi uwajeh

    I like Steve best of all. He was relaxed and confident. His voice was calm and modulated. He sounded sincere and was engaging. I also liked his story best & wanted to hear the rest of it. Also liked Elizabeth’s casual/calm speaking but didn’t like her movement

  10. Hello Conor,
    For me, the speech from Steve is very interesting cause many things that he said, happened in my own life. I mean diferent circunstances that happened were for some reason, but now I can understand and I grateful with Gad about this.
    Thank you.
    P.d. I’m very exiting when you respond me, your are very motivational person for me. Thank you again, Gad bless you Conor!

  11. I voted for Steve Jobs!
    His introduction was so engaging the I was unable to stop listening after the 1 minute timeout the exercise was requesting. And I was able to stop listening after 1 minute with the rest of the speakers, though.

  12. I voted Steve Jobs!
    His introduction was so engaging, that I was not able to stop listening after the 1 minute time the exercise was requesting to hear!
    I could stop listening the rest after 1 minute, though.

  13. Saurav Singh Arora Avatar
    Saurav Singh Arora

    My vote goes to Steve Jobs !

    A very humble, relaxed and positive start by acknowledging the ‘Finest’ university in world and how ‘honored’ he is being there connects instantly with the audience. A sincere opening about himself with a touch of humor makes his image as a regular guy who made it BIG, thus triggering the aspirations of the students. This followed by letting people know whats in store for them in his speech using ‘3 stories from life’ which creates the curiosity and also saying ‘that’s it – no big deal’ puts people at ease and tell then to sit back, relax and enjoy the stories. A combination of good breaks / pauses and right pitch makes his voice very comforting .

    Thank you Conor for this exercise.


    1. Great reflections!

  14. Hi Conor,
    I voted for Steve Jobs. I am impressed by his honesty and sincerity. He conveyed his message in very simple words. He engaged his audiance from the beginning to the end of his speech.

  15. Hi Conor,

    Like most of the comments above I do prefer Steve Jobs speech too.

    I was impressed by the confidence in the tone of his voice probably coming from the practice he had over the years. He looked interesting, confident, prepared, knowledgeable, honest, very clear and easy to understand which probably appealed to many non English speakers, very direct, pausing frequently, positive, great posture and body language.

    I have seen this video many times and I have been always amazed by the way his naturally delivering his story.


  16. I vote Steve Jobs, thanked the audience, praised the school, made a joke about himself, and then immediately engaged the audience by clearly telling them what the speech would be about, 3 stories. I thought JJ came in very close second.

    Here is a toastmasters speech that I thought was awesome and had a unique opening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPkp3bU8k6U

  17. Hello M.Conor, hier Abdelfatteh from Geneva, First I want to thank you for your good work and quality of your videos !
    I spend a lot of efforts to practice my English, And I’m very interesting that you will be my coach in public speaking.
    My mother langue is arabic and a french like a native .

    I made my choice for Jeff, because he started by a tale which generally take the attention of evry puplic.

    Thanks a lot

  18. Yeah I voted for Steve too. Maybe because I’d seen this before and so I know I was going to like it. Is it best to tell people I’m going to tel you three stories or just tell them?

  19. All the speakers were irresistible. But I voted Steve because he starts by appreciating the audience, which makes you feel important and continue with his life story in a way that makes you laugh and guess what is next .

  20. Hi Connor, it is interesting to see Steve read from his notes with interrupted eye contact, not much of voice modulation and virtually no body language, yet gets many votes. I don’t know if it is him or him image. I watched only the first minute of all videos imagining I knew nothing much about their background. I should say none of them were irresistible. I voted for Liz because I feel she hooks the audience using all aspects of presentation such as eloquence, spontaneity, voice modulation, body language etc around the mysterious build up of a message.

    1. Credibility is a big part of how we are perceived… we see what we expect to see more than what is really there. Steve knew how to build a reputation.

  21. Hi Conor ,

    I really the way he gestured the audience by saying “welcome and honoured” which humbled the audience and the way he showed himself down to earth attitude towards simplicity .

    Gud way of judging the thought and action Conor Great job !!! .


  22. I would vote for both JJ and Steve Jobs. Different people and yet, they managed to engage me and drew me into their presentation with their stories. Steve Jobs came across as very clear, in charge, funny in a subtle way and direct. JJ was funny, energetic and led us into his story in a humorous roundabout way.

  23. Hi Conor I voted for Steve Jobs.

    I liked the fact that at first he win the inviter’s heart saying something nice such as: “I am honoured to be with you […] one of the finest universities in the world”.

    Then he adds a joke, he wants to make them smiling: “Truth be told: I’ve never graduated from college”.

    Finally he prepares the audience saying something like: “Today I want to tell you three stories from my life”. So people are prepared and they know what they will be going to listen. This point is also important because he shares stories, something unique from his life.

    So to wrap up what I liked were three things: to please the inviter, to make them laugh and to prepare the audience with what will follow sharing stories.

    He established the connection with me structuring his speech and telling me that he wants to share 3 stories from his life therefore if something happens in the room of the speech and we all need to leave I would go to him asking to tell me the other stories.

  24. Thank you, Connor, for this exercise! I liked Seth – he is funny, i liked how he was handling the cards , then threw them… he made something hard to follow appear funny and the 60 sec were up when he threw the cards so it was hard to stop it and not see where he’d take me from there.Jeff appears like the type of person that anyone would easily like.He let a certain softness of his heart transfer from and through the look in the eyes, the natural shrug of his shoulders, the deep heartwarming voice. The story was coming from the heart and that grabbed me… JJ is funny, he used an unexpected start, leading to an even more unexpected continuation – a story about how his love of his grandfather would be connected to his interest in mysteries. It was indeed difficult to stop listening and not hear about that connection. Elizabeth grabbed my attention because the entrance she made was unexpected for me, knowing she is an author of very profound books. She appeared unexpectedly casual, but then she stroke me and the audience with a very profound question indeed… A question that most probably anyone asks themselves at times, regardless of what they do… Evidently, i am going to watch all 5 speeches till the end, but the one speech that i voted for and i’m looking forward to watching first is Steve’s!!!! It appears to me that Steve was somehow a sum of all the best features in each of the other 4 speakers!!! He is not only funny, but wise. He is not only casual, but deep. He is not only speaking from his heart, not only coming with something unexpected, but he also took me beyond his childhood. It was particularly difficult to stop listening when he implied that his story started before he was even born and to top it all of, there were 2 more stories to follow. How can I not prepare myself and settle in well for 3 heartfelt and meaningful stories? Thank you again for this wonderful experience! It helped me learn so much about a great beginning!!! 🙂


  26. I voted for JJ, a choice I made due to perceived appeal of the story and many character in it. This is more engaging and stimulates kind of anticipation and you can not stop. You continue to listen longer.

  27. I voted for Jeff because he started with an anecdote due to which people were engaged into it and could connect with the story, as humans we love listening stories and an emotional bond is developed between speaker and audience.While Abrams and JJ started on a humorous incidents. Steve’s and Elizabeth’s were also captivating.

  28. Jeff was a clear winner for me – he started with “as a kid”. Immediately he held my attention -every single person can relate to being a kid.

    Thanks Conor for this great resource.

    1. Good perspective – a story that is relevant to me is more engaging!

  29. Conor and All,
    I liked A LOT Steve’s speech. The only reason I didn’t put my vote for him is because I knew how his story ended in reality, so I was affraid to be influenced by real finale. Besides, I kind of took his speech as an idea “Congrats on what you accomplished. I am confident that you will not create some iPear or iPeach to compete with my Apple. But good luck on whatever you are doing… follow your dreams”. If I was one of these graduates, I would get really concerned after Steve’s speech if I invested my time and money correctly by graduating from the college.
    I voted for Seth. I liked how he structured his speech and pace and energy of its delivery. I guess, JJ had little bit too much of energy for me and Elizabeth had not enough of it for me. Regardless, I enjoyed every speech that was offered for this assignment. Thank you, Conor!

  30. I voted for Steve Jobs. incredible personal story! Seth and JJ speeches inspired me as well because they catch the attention very quickly by humour! those are great examples and show that there’s still a lot of work to achieve on my side 😉 I’m doing my ice breaker speech on Monday at my toastmaster club. Thanks Conor for running this website and this online free course. that’s very cool! greetings from switzerland

  31. Menachem Wertheim Avatar
    Menachem Wertheim

    Seth is an out standing speaker,resourceful ,entertaining,and was capturing immediately my attention.
    Looking forward to to your comments.

  32. Marciano da Silva Avatar
    Marciano da Silva

    Hi Conor,

    I voted for Steve Jobs as his speech captured the interest of the audiances and engaged them listen to him. He selected powerful words with great emotions so the audiances attached to his thoughts and felt by listening to him they can therefore change the way how they will do or take decisions that matter to their life. I like it and I was listening to Jobs’ speech till the end. His compassion and the emotions of his story made the audiances were deep and wanted to know what is in it for them.

    It is interesting speech and good for excercise,


    1. It is a great speech. There is a lot in common between these speakers – they each share personal stories about a change that is important to them 😉

  33. Conor,

    Steve Job received my vote: Reasons: High praise of the college- which had an immediate positive impact on his audience- , direct interesting open comments about himself, use of the magic ” 3″ and of all five speakers I wished to listen to Steve beyond the 60 seconds set by you for this exercise. His voice, words, pausing, pace, body language and facial expression were all excellent.

    Interesting exercise.


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