What made MLK’s I have a dream speech so powerful?

On my way to being a professional speaker, I reached out to many who were successful and asked them how they did it.

I also went back through history and studied the great speakers and speeches.

Martin Luther King’s, I have a dream speech may have been the most remarkable ever delivered!

You can learn and apply a few things about the speech to inspire an audience.

  • Show conviction

Dr. King firmly believed in racial equality, civil rights, and justice for all. It was what made his speech so powerful. He believed in the power of his cause, and 250,000 people listened. If you don’t believe in what you are saying, who will?

  • Use descriptive words

By using descriptive language, metaphors, and other figures of speech, you can project your message directly into the minds of your audience.

You can paint a picture with words and make complex topics easier to grasp by sparking your audience’s imagination. This is a compelling way to connect your ideas to every day realities everyone will understand.

  • Have a powerful call to action

One reason for a leader to communicate is to inspire action. You can’t just hope that it will happen. You need to call upon people to take a specific action. This may be essential to any message, so make sure it’s clear and motivating.

  • Never underestimate the power of storytelling.

Dr. King was a religious man. He knew the value and the power of storytelling. He often used parables and anecdotes from the Bible to captivate his audience and convey his message.

Stories have been around for centuries. Before humans could write, they would share their history and morals through storytelling. Even now, we teach children how to behave through stories.

  • Leave Room for Improvisation

Did you know Dr. King’s “I have a dream” phrasing wasn’t in his speech draft? However, he had a habit of preaching about his dream for America’s future, but it wasn’t in his notes. He abandoned his prepared remarks and started improvising. He was coaxed by an audience member — the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson — to “Tell them about the dream, Martin!”

And the end was indeed history!

Call me if you or someone you know is frustrated by your public speaking skills. We would gladly offer a no-fee consultation and see where we might help!

Go get ’em!

Tommy