Speak like a leader

by Simon Lancaster

Did you know there is a secret language of leadership that determines who reaches the top in politics and business? In this fast-paced and frequently funny TEDx talk, top speechwriter, Simon Lancaster, sets out the techniques that you can use to speak like a leader.

The talk culminates in Simon Lancaster instantly improvising a powerful leadership speech based on an idea suggested by the audience. Simon Lancaster is one of the world’s top speechwriters. He started working as a speechwriter in the late 1990s to members of Tony Blair’s Cabinet and now writes speeches for the CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the world including Unilever, Intercontinental Hotels and HSBC. He shares 6 excellent tips.

  1. Breathless x 3 Rule of 3 – 3 is the magic number in rhetoric – arguments in 3’s are most compelling
  2. Repetition x 3: ‘we shall fight on the …. 3 repetitive sentences are emotional and sweeps people away
  3. Balance x 3: sentence needs to sound balanced … attracted to these even if just an illusion
  4. Metaphors use it every 16 – very loaded and political to lead towards and to get people to recoil –change metaphor and can get the reaction changed – Arab Spring / Calais Jungle / Financial Storm
  5. Exaggeration – part and parcel of ordinary conversation
  6. Rhyme – how easy is language to swallow or sip – signifiers of truth in our society eg speculate to accumulate / an apple a day keeps the doctor away