Winston Churchill: Speaker Extraordinaire


by Burt Dubin on January 20, 2012

Winston Churchill:  Speaker Extraordinaire

1. Born with a speech impediment, (a lisp,) he struggled for years, even to the point, (Demosthenes-like,) of getting special dentures to aid his efforts to improve his articulation.

2. His first speaking tour  was in 1900, first in the UK, then in Canada and the USA.  According to Wikopedia he collected the equivalent of $800,000 in speaking fees!

3. Regarded by many as the outstanding public figure of the 20th century, his stirring words electrified his people during WW2.

4. His iron resolve, vivified through his speeches, made its way, osmosis-like into the hearts of his people and, indeed, into the consciousness of virtually everyone in the Western world.

5. The words he spoke from the platform were rooted in his deepest feelings and convictions.

6. What follows are some of his famous words:

7. In the darkest days of WW2, speaking as Prime Minister of the U.K., he said:  “We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and on the streets, we shall never surrender.”

“Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put.”

“Short words are best and old words when short are best of all.”

Years after he graduated from Harrow, his old school, he was invited to give the Commencement address.  Here are all the words of this famous address:  “Never give up.  Never, never, never give up.”

“I’m just preparing my impromptu remarks.”

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever.  Use a pile driver.  Hit the point once.  Then come back and hit it again.  Then a third time.”

“Courage is what it takes to stand and speak.  Courage is also what it takes to sit and listen.”

“There are two things that are more difficult than making an after dinner speech:  climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you.”



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