Who Are the Best Public Speakers?

Whenever you set out to name some of the best public speakers, there is going to be debate over who is put on the list and who is left off. But it’s still worth making the attempt because there is a lot we can learn from doing so.

Here are some of the people we think many would agree were or are some of the best public speakers in recent memory.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is remarkable to think about what the singular powerful voice of this one man was able to accomplish. Through his profoundly inspiring speeches, King helped move an entire nation from violent segregation toward brotherhood.

King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is one of the most moving and memorable in history and will continue to be considered an iconic event for centuries to come.

Bill Clinton

Whatever you think about his politics or character, it’s hard to deny that Clinton is a masterful speaker. After a time out of the direct political spotlight, Clinton’s speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention reminded the country that there is perhaps nobody in American politics that can match his pure rhetorical ability.

Anthony Robbins

Robbins is a motivational expert and strategist who has been working to help people fulfill their potential for decades. His speaking style exhibits commanding presence, not only due to his imposing physical size, but how he uses his voice and body language and engages his audience with demonstrations and participation.

Winston Churchill

Churchill’s distinctive voice, spirit and wit have echoed down through history. It was his public speaking that helped shepherd the British people, as well as much of the world, through a time of great turmoil.

Ronald Reagan

Reagan, in his younger years, was an actor. And he took his performance skill and put it to work in a political career that would catapult him to the most powerful position on the planet. As we have both Clinton and Reagan on this list, we can see that no political party or value system has a monopoly on communication talent. Reagan was so gifted in this area that he has come to be known as “the Great Communicator.”

Adolf Hitler

Having great skill as a public speaker can be used for good or evil. Unfortunately, Hitler applied his immense talent to bring about some of the most horrific acts in history. But his ability to captivate an entire nation and lead them to such extremes leaves little doubt that he possessed formidable skills as an orator.

The “Official” Best Public Speakers

While you may recognize the names of these very famous public speakers, some of those officially labeled as best public speakers are lesser known. To whom are we referring?

Well, each year Toastmasters – an organization devoted to improving and promoting public speaking and leadership skills – holds its world championship in public speaking. Each winner could be considered among the best public speakers in the world. You can see the names of these champions on the Toastmasters website.

Learn from the Best!

One of the most effective ways to improve any skill is through modeling those who are already adept. Communication skills are no exception. So head over to YouTube and watch some of the videos of these and other great public speakers, ask yourself what made them so effective and see what tricks and tips you can borrow to apply in your own public speaking.

If you’d like a recommendation on a way to learn directly from one of these best public speakers in the world, Darren LaCroix, the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, offers a “Fast Start Speaker Pack” program in which he helps you incorporate the skills that have been instrumental in his success.

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