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Simon Lancaster Speech Talk

Among the four TED talk videos, I chose one for Simon Lancaster, Secret Language of Leadership. In this TED talk, Simon, who is one of the world’s top speechwriters, shares with the addressees the techniques leaders use or have to use to convey speeches that can have an impact to a great extent. From the talk, it is evident that powerful speeches concern carefully choosing words and understanding the manner in which they will be delivered. According to Lancaster, the secret language of leadership relies on the ancient art of rhetoric. The secret language of leadership is one that an individual can possibly learn. Being one of the leaders, Simon believes that every person should have access to similar tools that he and his colleagues use. Ancient art itself was a fundamental part of the curriculum of ancient Rome. Besides, in London, right up to the 19th century, it was likely to acquire free education in rhetoric, however, not in Mathematics. In the modern days, the topic has lost its significance, although it is something essential that leaders and individuals ought to know. Simon Lancaster brings the art of rhetoric to the forefront f his speech and conveys techniques to help the audience talk like a leader. The three areas that caught my attention in his speech include using metaphors, rhyme, and three breathless sentences. The video clearly connects to our text in class.

In his talk, addressing the need to use metaphors indeed caught my attention to the greatest extend. In his speech, metaphors are used to either point individuals towards something or distract them away from something. It has a connection with our text in class in a way that if someone wants to speak like a leader, he or she should learn how to deliver an easy and simple to comprehend speech. Metaphors are the most powerful tools that can be used in political communication, so influential leaders need to use them. As an image can say a thousand words, a metaphor in speech can cover not less than going words. They are used to lead individuals towards things or away from things. Lancaster tells the audience to start using metaphors in their speech to deliver memorable, easy-to-understand, and engaging ideas. Pictures of beauty and love are used to draw individuals in, whereas disgusting pictures push them away (Saunders, 2020). According to his talk, metaphors are lies that are never challenged, yet they have an enormous impact on the manner individuals respond. The use of metaphors is something that we have learned in our class and text. It is an effective communication skill.

The other thing that caught my attention in the video is when Simon Lancaster talked about rhyme. The use of rhyme is something we have learned and connects to our text. According to him, if individuals desire to create a lasting impression about a certain point, they can start putting into practice the usage of rhyming statements in their speeches. Researchers have demonstrated that people are more possibly to believe something is true if it rhymes. It might not sound like an easy thing to do, but someone practices this speaking skill, it then turns out to be a perfect tool for a leader (Johnson & Hackman, 2018). The use of rhymes makes things easier to understand and accept the message in the brain. Rhyme can be used to conceal fallacies hence should be approached with caution. Short words and rhyming make it easier to understand and accept the message that is being delivered. It is a signifier of truth and should often be used.

The last thing that caught my attention in the Simon Lancaster speech is the three breathless sentences. In preparation for the speech, it is essential to stop, listen, and look around. People have to register on how they are feeling before talking (Lancaster, 2015). The emotions of the audience and attention depending on the way someone speaks. When beginning, it is a good thing to give the audience breathless sentences to make the topic sound more convincing and compelling and also to put the audience on edge. When we use rapid-fire sentences, we can tense the listeners and arouse a sense of urgency among them. This way can help to grab their attention and engage them in the speech. Great leaders like politicians and business leaders normally use this speaking technique to persuade their listeners.

According to my personal connection to the video, it is usually essential for me to use metaphors, rhymes, and three breathless sentences. For some time now, I have learned to incorporate these three techniques in my speech. It is something that I find effective and makes me deliver information the same way as a leader. I find it beneficial to be able to speak like a leader. Public speaking is something that I have learned in the class and knowing how to talk helps me. I use metaphor to create connection and empathy since metaphor delivers more than literal significance. It makes someone understand something at a deeper level than any literal description. My love for music makes me like using rhymes in my speech and general writing. I find out that using rhymes supports my language development, reading skills, and literacy. In my opinion, using metaphors, rhymes, and three breathless sentences create vivid images in the listeners’ head, making it easier to comprehend and remember the message. These techniques engage the brain, make someone persuasive, and aid in delivering a speech.

In conclusion, an individual needs to deliver a speech using all the tools and techniques in order to construct a sound bite talk, win an argument, and talk like an impactful leader. In his speech, Simon reveals a secret language that every leader or business person ought to learn. He explains six techniques that can teach people how to speak like leaders. In the beginning, it can be hard to include these speaking techniques, but with practice, it becomes easy to use these techniques naturally.


Johnson, C. E., & Hackman, M. Z. (2018). Leadership: A communication perspective. Waveland Press.

Lancaster, S. (2015). Winning minds: secrets from the language of leadership. Springer.

Saunders, C. (2020). Leadership. Oxford University Press, USA.

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