The Art of Public Speaking: Lessons from the Greatest Speeches in History : The Great Courses: Professional

  • by The Great Courses, John R. Hale
  • Narrated by Professor John R. Hale
  • Series: The Great Courses: Professional
  • 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Being a great public speaker can put you on the pathway to success, whether you're looking to teach, inform, persuade, or defend an idea. Yet many of us live in fear of public speaking. We experience stage fright or believe that speeches are best left to those with more intuitive talent. But nothing could be further from the truth.
As you'll learn in these 12 invaluable lectures, all it takes is confidence, practice, and the knowledge of techniques and strategies used by history's greatest public speakers, from Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King, Jr.
This insider's look at public speaking shows you three key components to help you succeed in any situation:


How to prepare for public speaking: Learn from Patrick Henry and others how to overcome stage fright, control your voice, use humor, and personalize your delivery.
How to craft a great speech: Learn how to build captivating speeches from people such as Susan B. Anthony and how to use stories, examples, logic, and impressive visual images.
How to handle your audience: Learn from Gandhi and others how to focus on your audience, invite them to share your vision, and inspire them to change.
Whether you want to finally become the confident public speaker you've always wanted to be or are just looking for fresh advice on how to strengthen your skills, this inspiring course is packed with practical advice to help you learn one of the most important skills in your personal and professional life.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fair to middling

This audiobook is a series of lectures looking at history's most memorable speeches. It is a good analysis of those speeches and helps us to understand the elements which combine to make great oratory. He helps us to understand the different strategies that should be used for different purposes. So, for example, Ghandi used 'logos' or logic to prove his point when he was on trial for his life, whilst Martin Luther King appealed to the emotions when he gave his iconic 'I have a dream' speech.

Whilst this analysis is interesting, there is a slight conflict of interests within the book which doesn't work so well. The lecturer is supposedly trying to teach us how to be better public speakers, but to this he draws his lessons from speeches made by history's heavyweight orators made at pivotal moments in the World's history, such as Churchill's 'Blood, sweat and tears' speech and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. This is slightly comical, as the average listener buying this self-help lecture series will likely do no more than give a best-man speech at a wedding.

Despite this qualm, the audiobook is interesting and worth a listen.
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- Mark "I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!"

Buyer Be Avised: It may not be what you think

This is a well-done series of lectures, but their focus is not on an analysis of the great speaches. It is about how to give a speach, and it uses excerpts of some great speaches to illustrate its how-to points on speaking. if that's what you're looking for, then give this a listen! If you want to hear the full versions of historical speaches, look elsewhere.
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- Dana

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses