What we can learn from Malcolm X ballot or bullet speech


Malcolm X delivered this speech, “The Ballot or The Bullet” in April 12, 1964  in Detroit, Michigan. It was mostly about black nationalism. Until now, if you listen to what he said, you could pick up 5 lessons which you can use when you deliver your own speech.

What are these five lessons?

1. Address the Elephant in the Room Straight Away – If you think that that there are issues your audience would like to get addressed, do so at the beginning of your presentation. This will put everyone at ease and you can then move on to what your speech is really all about.

2. Unite People Together towards a Common Goal – When people feel that they’re united towards a common goal, they get more engaged with the topic and the entire activity. It drives them to listen and participate.

3. Unite People by Focusing on a Common Enemy – Another thing that drives people to get involved and take action is when they feel that they are standing together against a common enemy.

4. Highlight the Problem and Build Their Pain – Focus on all the problems and pains your audiences are experiencing. Highlight the troubles and hardships. This will push them to hunger for solutions and seek out for them. So when you finally give them the solution, they are more than ready for it.

5. Build the “We” Connection – Always make your audience feel like you’re on the same boat, that you are part of their group and that you are on their side. This way, they will listen to you more and find you very credible when you offer the solution.

You can find more tidbits of wisdom from Akash Karia’s post, 5 Public Speaking Lessons from Malcolm X’s “Ballot or Bullet” Speech.

About presenternews
I write about presentation skills and provide news from the presentation skills blogosphere.

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