Here is one of those speeches that reminds you how powerful the art of public speaking can be when the speaker has a genuine passion for their topic. Kudos to Dr Nick Morgan for sharing it on his blog Public Words which is where I found it.
Mike Johnston is a former school principal and now senator from Colorado. His passion is education and in the speech he shares two powerful stories that illustrate the values of ‘truth’ and ‘hope’ and how when they work together great things can be achieved.
In one case of a school for challenged kids in Colorado, only around half of the students ever graduated from high school. In the first year Johnston took over as principal, 100% of the students that started their senior year graduated with admissions to college. The speech reveals how he did it.
From a public speaking coaching point of view, the speech is a great demonstration of how great content and authenticity can more than make up for an imperfect delivery. If Johnston had made the speech somewhere like a Toastmasters club, they would point out how he holds on to the lectern, sways from side to side, uses a few umms, and points with his forefinger too much.
Yes there are things he could improve about his delivery, but to be honest I doubt that any of his audience on the night could have cared less. The stories are so good and he is so genuine that they would have been too involved to notice. As you will be when you watch the video.
It’s 20 minutes or so worth spending, even if you’re not directly involved in education.
About The Author Of This Blog David Wise is a professional MC, speaker, freelance writer, and communication coach from Queensland, Australia. www.dwise.com.au