Public Speaking Tips (From Bill Clinton)

Bill Clinton is often referred to as one of the best public speakers of modern time.He has the ability to charm the audience into joining him in his point of view. There are two components to his greatness as a communicator. We can garner many public speaking tips by watching him.

WHAT he says:

  1. He builds his speech around one idea. For example, “Barack Obama is the best choice of president for the middle class.” In journalism we call this a “focus statement.
    He uses a balance of personal stories and scientific data –researched facts from credible sources – to back up his focus statement.
    He uses easy to understand, conversational language.
    He’s not glued to his script. He sometimes improvises.

HOW he says it:

    1. He shares himself with his audience as if he’s speaking to a friend or a neighbor.
    2. He “invites people in” when he speaks. Think of the positive energy you exude when you’re opening your door to welcome a special guest. Clinton keeps that same positive energy flowing throughout his speech
    3. It’s as though he’s speaking to each person in the audience one to one. That comes from inviting people in.
    4. He’s folksy and down to earth which makes him accessible.
    5. He’s always fully “present.” He feeds on the energy of every moment.
    6. He “feels” his audience and gets energy from that. There is a give and take.
    7. He believes in his message therefore he can easily connect on an emotional level.
    8. He understands his audience and he respects them.

Note that Bill Clinton had to work on his voice and presentation skills. During his first presidential campaign he almost lost his voice and he wasn’t all that impressive as a speaker. A speech therapist was hired to travel with him on his campaign and work with him on his voice.