Celebrate King’s Day by Remembering His Speech

illustration of Martin Luther King Day background.
illustration of Martin Luther King Day background.

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.”

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.”

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.

Watch and hear King’s speech:


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High-Energy Entrepreneur Responds to My Comments About Speaking


When my recent online newsletter talked about the 3 messages every speaker sends, my longtime friend–also a colleague I admire very much– Linda Sztanko from Wellington, Ontario responded with these comments:

FANTASTIC Words of Wisdom Today.. and I couldn’t agree more. So many times I have gone to hear speakers who are charismatic and engaging on the stage, but when the spotlight is off… so is their interest in YOU! As long as they are selling.. they are smiling and happy and ALL about the audience. But when you get the opportunity to talk, many (not all) are so busy looking around the room to see if the “important”people are there, and NOT engaging a real conversation or even a polite acceptance of a thankful heart, from the “little nobody” in front of them. SHAME… That “nobody” could turn into the “important person” one day and will remember the bad behavior bestowed on them.

She concluded: When you are the person people are coming to hear…I believe it is your duty to give ALL THE VALUE and ATTENTION to everyone who comes into your path.

My July newsletter featured an article about the 3 major ways a speaker impresses his or her audience: actions before the speech, during the speech, and after the speech. You can read my advice about that topic as it appears in EzineArticles online:


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Linda is an Award Winning Entrepreneur, Master Networker, Speaker, Trainer, and Author. Her website is under construction at www.lindasztanko.com and you will want to keep checking that link, soon to be active. For now you’ll find her at http://www.sendoutcards.com/sztanko


Linda and I will welcome your comments. Click the Comments link above her photo.