The mojologic blog

Insights on communication, influence, sales and leadership
Speech 23: Maya Angelou (On the Pulse of Morning)

Speech 23: Maya Angelou (On the Pulse of Morning)

Maya Angelou lived her life with the enduring belief that words are powerful.  
On January 20th, 1993, Maya Angelou recited her poem, On the Pulse of Morning, at the presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton.

As a poet, author and activist she regularly spoke out on the issues that mattered most to her.  In this post we celebrate the words she so masterfully assembled in the form of a poem.

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Speech 22:  Winston Churchill (On the beaches)

Speech 22: Winston Churchill (On the beaches)

One of the most famous and often studied speeches of the 20th century is Winston Churchill’s address to the House of Commons on 4 June 1940; commonly titled; “We shall fight on the beaches”.

Churchill was a student of the classics, an expert in rhetorical technique and, by this stage in his career, a seasoned politician.  This speech stands out as the manifestation of all his talents, delivered at precisely the right time to have maximum effect. 

What lessons in persuasion can we glean for this call to arms, delivered 80 years ago?

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Speech 21:  Roxane Gay (Confessions of a Bad Feminist)

Speech 21: Roxane Gay (Confessions of a Bad Feminist)

Roxane Gay Speech: ‘Confessions of a Bad Feminist’ TED Talk, June 2015
“I am failing as a woman, I am failing as a feminist.”
What Roxane Gay manages in her 2015 TED talk is quite masterful.  She wins over her opposition through the use of humour.  Self-deprecating humour, at that. Her persona (based on her book by the same title) of the ‘Bad Feminist’ is curious.  But more than that it signals that she is not perfect.  She tempers the implications of the position of ‘feminist’ with the admission that she herself, does not live up to whatever standards one might associate with feminism.  So, she makes what might, for some, seem to be a moralizing topic into one that is comedic.

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Speech 20: Franklin Roosevelt (a day that will live in infamy)

Speech 20: Franklin Roosevelt (a day that will live in infamy)

The Franklin D Roosevelt speech on 8th December 1941. “It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago.  During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.”

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Speech 14: Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope)

Speech 14: Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope)

It’s that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

In 2004, then Illinois senate candidate, Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. At this point, Obama was not particularly well known. This fine example of oratorical mastery helped to propel him forward in the minds of his party, his country and the world.

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