Rick is an author as well as a former professor and TV journalist. You might have seen the speech, but it is well worth watching a second time. Rick starts at 1:50 Min.
We as presenters can learn three things from Rick:
- Be personal. The extreme power of this speech is driven by Rick being totally personal. He talks about lessons of his live in a way that is very casual yet sincere. All lessons he learned from his dad he bases on personal stories and experiences. Yes, you can say it is a bit cheesy watching it from Europe. But the stories work very well. Globally. Rick comes across as very humble. The students listening to him can easily make a connection to what he says because of that.
- Use repetition. Rick hammers his message in (“use wisdom”). He repeats the same sentence again and again: “The wisest person I ever met — a third grade drop out.” All his stories are centered around this. This repetition works so well as Rick uses it to underline just one message. So, listeners can follow him easily. What Rick does here is like a priest, but we can use it also in a business context if done in such a humble and convincing way as Rick shows.
- Use the context. Ricks speech is not just a commencement speech delivered by a well-know guy to students. His father worked at the institute as a cook. He grew up close by. Rick tells the audience the exact address where this was. Everybody can check it and relate. He mentions a lot of connections to California. He relates his young adult stories to the life of the students. And so on. Despite the general message of the speech all this makes the speech very special for everybody attending.
If you desire to learn to give speeches like this, please contact me. I will show you how to shape a clear message, inspire your audience and deliver a speech that makes people move.
Disclaimer: Rick is not a client of mine.