Discover more from Adastra Speech - Thinking About Speaking
Visualization of a Speech
A new way to see a presentation.
Seeing a Speech
This may seem a little off-topic from my usual posts about pronunciation, but Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day always reminds me of 1) hearing his “I Have a Dream” speech and 2) seeing his speech but not in words. I’m fascinated by the visualization of data and this was the first time I saw the visualization of a speech in a way that really made sense to me.
I first saw Nancy Duarte’s Ted Talk when I was searching for presentations about how to improve presentations. I’m always looking for speeches that do double duty and have information about speaking while the speaker is a good example of a speaker. Nancy Duarte’s presentation has both those things. There’s a lot of information all over the internet about storytelling and how important it is for presentations, but this is the first time I saw a powerful speech dissected into discrete color-coded elements so I found this incredibly interesting and I’m sharing it in hopes you will too.
Her Ted Talk has information about how she’s analyzing speeches and finding a common shape of great presentations and includes Steve Job’s 2007 iPhone launch speech and King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
This video is just focused on King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.:
Now, when I hear even a small part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, I can identify these specific elements. It doesn’t distract me from the meaning, it makes me appreciate the skill and talent that went into it and I admire it even more. I hope this gives you a new way to think of creating a speech or analyzing a speech by making a visualization of the topics and themes in a color-coded timeline.
Many of my international students were familiar with the speech in writing, but didn’t know the context in which it happened. Some had never heard him deliver it. Here’s a History Channel video that gives a brief context to his speech.