There have been debates for centuries over who is the best orator of all time. While it is pretty much impossible to compare speakers across generations, it is possible to have a favourite from each age.
Bill Clinton is often quoted as being the best public speaker of our time. He has the ability to capture and hold the attention of any audience and deliver his message in a convincing way. Compare him to George W Bush, and it is like comparing chalk and cheese. Bush has no idea about presenting, and has to have his speeches tightly scripted. Otherwise he will stray further from the point, and get himself into even more trouble.
Nelson Mandela is also quoted as a great speaker of our time. Of the speeches that he has given, he is renowned for having a strong message that motivates us to action. This is essential in a speaker. While he may not be as technically 'correct' as Bill Clinton, his message is just as powerful. And after all, is that not what it is about? Getting your message across to your audience.
Not all great Public speakers are great people. Take for example Hitler. He was a purely evil man. However, he had the ability to speak to his nation and turn them against another race. He motivated a whole country to murder. I have an old German friend who saw Hitler give a number of speeches. He says that Hitler was hypnotic in his ability to control his audience and make them do as he wanted. He knew how to manipulate an audience to do what he wanted them to do. Unfortunately, as Get Smart would say, "he used his power for evil and not for Good".
Who is your favourite public speaker?
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