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

Discussion

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

27 comments

  1. 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.
    Ines

  2. 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.
    Inés

  3. Saurav Singh Arora · · Reply

    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.

    -Saurav

    1. Great reflections!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    Nutu

  6. Gregory · · Reply

    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

  7. abdelfatteh · · Reply

    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

  8. 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?

  9. 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 .

  10. 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.

  11. 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 !!! .

    Jaydev

  12. Sadhana · · Reply

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Delia · · Reply

    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!!! 🙂

  15. ONE COMMON THING i’VE NOTICED ABOUT THESE HONOURABLE SPEAKERS IS THAT EACH ONE OF THEM ADDED SOMETHING OR THE OTHER APRT FROM JUST GOING STRAIGHT THROUGH THE TOPIC AS IN SOMEBODY GAVE LIVELY EXAMPLES ND THE OTHER SEEKED ATTENTION OF THE AUDIENCE BY ADRESSING THEM BEING HONOURABLE AND TELLING THEM HOW IMPORTANT THEY ARE OR MAY BE JUST SHOWING THEMSELVES BELOW THE AUDIENCE TO SEEK THEIR ATTENTION.

  16. Sibabrata De · · Reply

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Una Shortall · · Reply

    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.
    Una

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

  19. 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!

  20. rlebaudromain · · Reply

    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

  21. Menachem Wertheim · · Reply

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

  22. Marciano da Silva · · Reply

    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,

    Marciano

    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 😉

  23. 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.

    John

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