As I have been working on my public speaking skills, I have searched for a role model or an example of excellence in successful speaking. I would like to capture people’s attention and inspire them to action. I've realized that keeping people’s attention is hard enough. To go further and convince them of my message and get my audience to move and take action is the epitome of skill.
I can imagine standing before a crowd, speaking passionately and hearing their approving cheers! I could leave them with the will and motivation to get moving, to change their lives. That picture of a powerful speaker resolves itself from foggy to specific and the role model emerges: Adolf Hitler.
Hitler knew how to get his audience going. He spoke and thousands marched. In fact, thousands died. MILLIONS died, and many of them died unwillingly at the hands of Hitler's followers. What power Hitler wielded!
I shudder at the thought. If he is the archetype of the powerful public speaker, I question my desire to be like him. He changed the world in an overwhelmingly destructive way. I want no part of that.
He spoke to his audience and told them of their superiority. YOU are the best; YOU are the masters of the universe. Flattering their pride, he pushed them to action. Stoking the fire of envy, he told the German people that they had been treated unfairly in the world. WWI had left them without their rightful share, and they should be willing to do whatever it took to get it back. In fact, since they were such fabulous specimens of humanity, they should get more than their equal share. They should have more, and because they were the greatest, whatever they did to get it was by definition the right thing.
Adolf Hitler appealed to pride and selfishness in his audience, and changed the world for the worse.