Let Abraham Lincoln Teach you the Secrets to an Engaging Presentation

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the USA is often considered one of the best leaders in the world’s history. Born in a humble family, Lincoln had worked extremely hard to achieve the most powerful position of the nation. Over the years, he had been a person with high moral values and a dynamic personality that enabled him to navigate the nation towards absolute glory. What makes him the greatest sociopolitical leader is his fight for the emancipation from slavery of African Americans. Apart from his leadership aspects, Lincoln was also admired for delivering highly engaging speeches without being overly descriptive. One such speech was ‘The Gettysburg Address’, which lasted for approximately 2 minutes.

The Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln had delivered a speech at the battleground of Gettysburg, which later came to be known as ‘The Gettysburg Address’.

It was during the times of the Civil War that a public meeting was held in order to pay tribute to the soldiers who died in the battle. The featured speaker was not Lincoln, but rather Edward Everett was destined to do the job. Everett took two hours to complete his speech, and on his completion, the president was called upon the stage to have a ‘few words’ on the event.

Lincoln began his speech with, ‘Four Score and Seven years ago’, which indicated the year of the American independence; i.e. 1776 AD. His speech consisted of merely 260 words. Later, Everett wrote a letter to Lincoln saying, “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”

But what made his speech so much impressive and dynamic? We will analyze his speech and figure out how you can too improve your presentation skills.

Starting strong

Speeches by Lincoln always started with a strong reference, just like The Gettysburg Address. As a result, the audience was struck by a sense of patriotism. In a corporate scenario, you can use a strong fact to start your presentation. This will help you to grab the attention of your boss or clients.

Using specific details

Keeping your target audience in mind is another trait of Abraham Lincoln that you can implement in your presentations. In his speech, Lincoln pointed out the purpose of the gathering at the battlefield of Gettysburg and he mentioned how the soldiers had sacrificed their lives. You can make your presentation more engaging by adding details that will be interesting to your audience. If you are preparing a presentation for your semester, you should provide details regarding your topic that will have an impact on the thought process of your audience.

Using powerful visuals

It was not possible for Lincoln to use visuals to improve his speech. However, he used words to portray an image into the minds of the listeners. You have the privilege to insert images, graphs, which you should try, in order to evoke the sentiments into the reader’s mind.

Being humble

Even the most powerful person in the country (at that time), did not focus on his powers or talents while delivering his speech. In fact, his every speech revolved around his fellow citizens and their welfare. You too should avoid referring to your talents in your presentation. Rather you must concentrate on discussing the subject you are writing about.

Closing the loop

Lincoln started The Gettysburg Address using the reference of the country’s independence and ended his speech saying “of the people, by the people, for the people”, which was a phrase extracted from the US Constitution, thus referring to the country’s freedom once again. When you will finish your presentation by reinforcing your opening message, your audience will feel complete. As a result, the audience would stay aware of the message you are trying to deliver.

In today’s modern business scenario, managers have to be highly productive towards achieving their goals. And the role of business presentations has become more important than ever before. You can improve your presentation skills by adopting the practices of the great American savior. Be ready to conquer your inner fears and climb the mountain of success. Let Abraham Lincoln help you to create a valuable and engaging presentation.


If not Abe, we can help you hone your presentation skills:

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