Presentation Guru recently released the series ‘The Guru’s Big 5 Questions’ where 30 of the presentation world’s brightest minds each answer, yep you guessed it, 5 questions, regarding their inspiration in the world of crafting and delivering professional presentations. In this post, our Managing Director, Belinda Huckle, joins the conversation and provides an insight into what inspires and challenges her in the industry.
1) What’s the greatest speech in history and why?
For me, the 1918 speech from Eugene Debs, where he famously denounces the purpose of war as an endeavour of the elite at the expense of the ‘subject class’, is one of the greatest speeches in history. The true power of this speech is that 98 years later, the impact and message purveyed is as relevant today as it was back then.
2) What’s the greatest business presentation / sales pitch and why?
I have to agree with Nolan Harris – Mad Men and the The Kodak Carousel – “It’s a time machine. It goes backwards and forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go to again”. The best pitch ever. It’s tells a powerful and personal story that everyone can emotionally relate to. Based on a universal truth. I wish I was there!
3) Who is the best political cause / orator today & why?
Not necessarily a political orator, but the best political/cause speech I have heard in recent times is that of Quinyetta McMillon, the wife of Anton Sterling. Mr Sterling, an African American man, was shot and killed by white Baton Rouge police officers in one of the many tragic police shootings in the USA over the last couple of months. The act was captured on camera and went viral in a matter of hours, prompting global outcry.
Ms Millon’s speech is as poignant as it is devastating. “As a mother, I have now been forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father; that I can’t take away from him. As a parent, one of the greatest fears is to see your child hurt and know there’s nothing you can do about it.”
The heartbreaking speech is concluded with a powerful statement of hope, “We are a complete community of individuals who will carry this burden and also stand together to ensure that this event will not go unnoticed, especially for the future. I, for one, will not rest or allow him to be swept in the dirt.”
The combination of absolute sadness and inspiring hope cemented this speech in my mind, as I’m sure it has to countless others.
4) What’s the most important thing that anyone making a speech should do more than anything else?
There are 3 important things everyone should do before giving a speech. Believe in the importance of your audience. Believe in the value of the message to that audience. Believe in themselves.
5) Who inspired you starting out in the business? Who inspires you know?
Tamara Ingram, now global CEO of the advertising agency JW Thompson, first inspired in me the real belief that anything is possible. She also made me realise how important it is to be true to yourself, and that being different won’t hold you back as long as you have the brains, belief and balls to make a difference.
The people that inspire me now are the people that I coach every day. Listening to their stories, their ambitions, their struggles and their dreams remind me to never stand still. There are only so many tomorrows.
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