8 examples of very influential and powerful public speakers

Maya Angelou

I’d like to share 8 examples of  some of the worlds most influential and powerful public speakers.

Each of them lead the way in showing us how to speak with power, passion and grace. They have also been instrumental in changing the world, each in their own unique way.

Michelle Obama

I wrote a previous article about Michelle Obama’s impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention.

‘She united a convention hall and brought them to their feet through the sheer power of well-chosen and mindful expression.’

Who is the most eloquent and powerful speaker, Michelle or her husband Barack Obama?

Apart from Barack Obama’s masterful use of the power I think she just beats him to the post.

Marianne Williamson

As a spiritual teacher, author and speaker, Marianne has me connected with every word she speaks each time I listen to her; especially at a live conference.

I wrote about the commencement speech she gave to the University of Southern California where I said, ‘Marianne Williamson speaks with such passion, grace, belief and authenticity that it’s hard not to be moved by her address.’

Hillary Clinton

Despite her loss in the American Presidential Campaign many would argue that during her campaign and her many speeches before that she made quite an impact on her audience.

Following her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention I published another article sharing 18 lessons we could all learn from her brilliant speech.

Maya Angelou

Some of the most wonderful words of wisdom and powerful quotes that we could apply to the world of public speaking came from Maya Angelou.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

She has inspired millions across the world through her poetry and speeches. One of my personal favourites was the beautiful poem she recited at the 1993 Presidential Inauguration; ‘On the Pulse of Morning.’

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is recognised as one of the most loved and influential people in the world.

Among her many other talents and gifts, she is among the worlds most powerful public speakers. I believe it’s her authenticity, humility, wisdom and grace that captures the hearts and minds of millions of people across the word each time she speaks.

Margaret Thatcher

I was 16 years old when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Each time I heard her speak on television I remember thinking how scary she sounded to me.

I’m sure she probaly had the same impact on many adults at the time.

Whatever you may think of her political views and leadership, she learned how to make her voice heard and to speak with power and impact.

Sheryl Sandberg

Talking about politicians, poets, spiritual speakers and talk show hosts is one thing. There are also many extremely powerful speakers in the corporate world too.

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook is a great example.

She speaks with passion, authority and humour. Sheryl tells personal stories and challenges her audience to think.

In her Ted Talk ‘Why we have too few women leaders’ she also very cleverly uses the rule of three.

Brené Brown

With almost 30,000 000 views on TED, the research professor Brené Brown is another speaker to be admired. We can learn a great deal from her.

I wrote an article about her which I summarised as, ‘A powerful, thought provoking and deeply engaging 20 minute talk all wrapped up in authenticity and vulnerability.’

What characteristics do powerful public speakers have in common?

They have many but here are a few of them:


Which they work hard to achieve in public speaking


Which they share generously and with grace


Which comes from their intent to be themselves and open with their audience


They share personal experiences

Who are your favourite, powerful public speakers and why?

If you’d to learn more about what powerful public speakers have in common:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

Image Courtesy of: Flickr.com




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