Marcus Antonius Contributions

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Profiles In Eloquence

Politicians have often been credited with being eloquent speakers, from the earliest times to the present day.

Marcus Antonius (a Roman Politician and soldier) made one of the most memorable speeches in history. Shakespeare dramatized this in the play Julius Caesar when he used Antonius’s famous opening words “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears”. These words have become immortalized in the minds of literature students and the countless numbers who have used this speech in elocution contests.

Also from the ancient world is Demosthenes, one of the greatest orators of his time, of whom Cicero said “inter omnis unus excellat” - “he stands alone among all the orators”.

Demosthenes made a disastrous start
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• Winston Churchill - English Prime Minister during World War 2, particularly noted for his speeches in the House of Commons, notably “Their finest hour”, his tribute to “The Few”, honouring RAF pilots in the Battle of Britain air-war in August 1940, immortalizing their contribution to the war effort with the words: “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.”

The “Never Was So Much Owed By So Many To So Few - Winston Churchill” video clip may be viewed at: https//

• Franklin D. Roosevelt - “Day of Infamy” - the sneak attack on Pearl Harbour which brought America into war with Japan. (See Chapter 4 for URL Address)

• Eloquent speaking is also found in the World Championship in Public Speaking, an annual event staged by Toastmasters International and open to all its members. In 2011, 30,000 participants from 116 participated in this event on an elimination basis. In the finals, the victor’s crown went to Australian Jock Elliot, who spoke so eloquently about the value of true friendships, entitled “Just so
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She kept her audience mesmerized as she told her story, learning from failures and believing in the power of imagination. Inspiring, motivational, a strong ‘take-away’ message, spoken with poise and purpose, the 20 plus minutes speech can be watched at:
“J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement”

Great speakers are to be found in all walks of life and may never be internationally acknowledged or acclaimed. However, they make a difference in the organizations in which they are employed; they are leaders, managers and trainers who take pride in their briefing, presenting and facilitating skills. They are the organization’s prized assets.

There are some, though, who make it to international fame. These are internationally renowned Master Trainers and Motivators, who have a flair for teaching, inspiring and motivating thousands of people the world over through authorship of books , training and workshop sessions.

We name a few whom we consider to be in this ‘Hall of Fame’ of speaking eloquence - John Maxwell, Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield, Stephen Covey, Anthony Robbins and Bob
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