Revisiting Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Day, let’s honor the power of his rhetoric and his movement by focusing on the five reasons his “I Have a Dream Speech” became history-changing.

First: King’s life was consistent with his rhetoric. He did what he encouraged others to do. Surrounded by threats, bullied by hecklers and racist law officers, he endured arrest, followed Gandhi’s example of nonviolence, and ultimately gave his life in the advancement of civil rights.

Second: The speech still resonates because of King’s vivid illustrations. We “have come to our nation’s Capitol to cash a check,” he said. Yet the nation’s response to promises of justice was marked “insufficient funds.” Even so, he said “We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.”

Third:
Dr. King used catchy, attention-riveting words. Grand example: noting that Negroes were stranded on “a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.”

Fourth:
King spoke with stirring emotion. His pulsating emotion emerged naturally from his genuinely intense belief in his message. In the magic of the moment, he departed from his prepared text to speak directly from his heart.

Fifth: He sustained magnetism because his message was consistent. He allowed no room for partial, delayed solutions to segregation. Compromise was not in his vocabulary as a leader.

Yes, because Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr lived the message he spoke, used vivid illustrations, coined creative words and phrases, spoke with obviously genuine emotion, and stuck to a consistent, unwavering theme, commemorating his “I Have a Dream” speech is more than justifiable—it is morally imperative.

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Ignore the Noise, Focus on The Gift

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A few days ago I met David Snyder when he attended “Gwinnettworking,” sponsored by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in Duluth, GA. As we became better acquainted a few days later at lunch, I recognized that he has enjoyed a stellar career.

–Group Sales Manager for Johnson & Johnson
–Vice President for National Accounts, Coca-Cola
–Vice President of Operations, Coca-Cola, Tokyo

Now he provides financial advice for a top-tier client list at Morgan Stanley, operating from Atlanta.

During our conversations, I discovered what I consider the real key to his professional success.

Not his education
Not his networking skills
Not his ability to communicate his ideas
Not his ease in meeting strangers

. . . although with him all of those assets are strong.

Instead, from my viewpoint David’s key to success, both in business and in life, is his outlook on life. In an era when pessimism, gloom, defeatism, fear, resentment, jealousy, and mistrust abound, David said this during our casual lunch chit chat:

“We get two things in life. First, we get a Gift. The Gift comes to us when we wake up, and have another day packed with possibilities.”

What’s the other thing we get? “Noise. Noise is all the things that happen to us, everything that can go wrong during a day.”

So, David went on to explain, “We can choose to let the Noise overwhelm us. But that’s not my choice at all. I focus on the Gift.”

What a powerful way to stay motivated! With David’s permission, I am  sharing his daily approach with you.

You and I face the identical choice day after day.

Let’s ignore the Noise.

Let’s accept the Gift and maximize its opportunities.

To learn more about David Snyder, check his LinkedIn page:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidsnyder1

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First, visit my LinkedIn page:

http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/billlampton

Then call me to discuss what you want to accomplish, and we will devise a coaching plan that will help your company communicate more clearly and productively: 678-316-4300

Since 1997, I have provided Speech Coaching for Leaders, Communication Consulting for Companies, and Interview Coaching for Professionals in Transition.