Winston Churchill was one of the greatest and most effective speakers in history. Effectiveness is the capability something has to make an impact, or the effect it has on someone’s life, as well as the successfulness of it conveying your desired result or outcome.
One of the most effective speeches delivered by him in history that I chose to analyze is “Their Finest Hour.” The speech was delivered before the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on a podium on June 18,1940 in front of about 430 people, a rather large audience. They were his first audience as well as also broadcasting it on the radio days later before all of the United Kingdom. The speech was given at a time when Europe was experiencing horrible things from the second war. In this particular speech Churchill doesn’t start with an introduction but instead diving right into the task at hand, which is the battle of Britain. Throughout his speech churchill touches and concentrates on his main ideas which are patriotism, truth and determination and what he needed from his people.
For example, he justified these ideas by appealing to the people’s fear of the nazi’s conquering them, explaining that the history along with their world was in danger if they let Germany win the war. One way of conveying this was by appealing to reason and he made this scenario to his people to inspire a courage and hope along with action and determination. Churchill also appealed to emotion, which showed that he truly believed and truly wanted to convey to his audience to believe that they had a chance at winning this war. Churchill’s audience was in a state of fear and by using his words of encouragement he provided them with the emotional relief and confidence they needed that helped defeat Germany.
Lastly but not Least, Churchill appealed to reason and it is clearly seen throughout his speech. England’s situation at the time was very bad and Churchill was very honest about it. In his speech he mentions, “The disastrous military events which have happened during the past fortnight have not come to me with any sense of surprise. Indeed, I indicated a fortnight ago as clearly as I could to the House that the worst possibilities were open”, in this line Churchill is stating that their situation is indeed very bad. However, right after that quote he says ” and I made it perfectly clear then that whatever happened in France would make no difference to the resolve of Britain and the British Empire to fight on, ‘if necessary for years, if necessary alone.” This represents his appeal to logic by honestly explaining their harsh reality and he counters this negativity by stating and expressing that he will never stop fighting or give up hope. I believe that his main ideas were easily identified and were easy to follow using reason, emotion and logic throughout this speech.Winston Churchill lived a prominent life, he earned the respect of the people and became the second most powerful man in the United Kingdom.
Churchill followed in his father’s footsteps and had a well known career in the military and politics and earned the respect of the people by supporting and defending their cause. By the time he spoke he had already built credibility with his people. Churchill was very persuading and motivating, during the speech there were many facts that he used to persuade his audience. One example of that is when he mentions about how 350,000 out of 400,000 men were safely back in England and how the only way this could’ve happened was by having a strong military force, the same one he believed could defend England. Winston Churchill as a speaker appeared to be very well prepared before giving his speech simply because of the fact that he was able to relieve people of fear and deliver words of encouragement during such hard times.
In the National Public Radio website, according to kiely he wrote every word of his many speeches. He had also mentioned to be spending about an hour on every minute of his speech. Mrs.
Kiely states in this article, that the morgan library has several drafts of a single speech he had written on February 1941. She mentions that his first drafts look like normal typescripts and that his final drafts always look like a “draft of a poem.” Kiely also says and shows pictures of Churchill’s markings made to indicate how the speech should be read before his audience. He inserted white spaces to remind himself to pause and so on. He was very confident in his speeches when it was time to deliver them. He had a very natural confident stance, and he always appeared to be well groomed in the pictures they have documented of him. He spoke with a lot of confidence in what he believed and left no trace of uncertainty when speaking, as well as using a variety of words and vocals to set the tone.
Since they are no videos of his speeches only audios, they recently filmed a movie called “Darkest Hour” for reference, in this movie they portrayed how he emotionally expressed himself, and how he constantly maintained eye contact to convey his messages which led to the triumph of this speech, “Their Finest Hour.” The people of England at first did not have a very positive opinion of the speech at the time, they thought he was delusional because of the way his speech was written, with honesty and encouragement. They didn’t believe that he was actually optimistic about the situation, his purpose was to explain and inform the audience of their situation and give them reasons why they can still win. The tone of the speech throughout is mostly informative with a hint of prationism and the mood is also mostly hopeful, which is what inspires his audience. I strongly believe that the impact of the speech wouldve been different if it had been delivered by someone else other than Churchill. He understood his audience, and knew how to connect his ideas by appealing to their fear and at the same time giving them hope in defeating Germany.
In Their Finest Hour, he conveyed that he was willing to fight to death and stand up for what he believes, he demonstrated his strength and his purpose and that resulted in success. He motivated other countries to fight back and that resulted in an alliance with the US and Russia’s military forces. My overall reaction to this particular speech itself was very surprising and it opened my mind to how speeches can impact a whole nation and how it made a great change in the United Kingdom. Churchill’s words had a very powerful effect on his audience and he delivered it when the people needed it the most. His speech was very effective because of the vivid and memorable words he used to encourage his people and boost morale. For example, Churchill said ” I look forward confidently to the exploits of our fighter pilots- these splendid men, this brilliant youth- who will have the glory of saving their native land, their island home and all they love, from the most deadly of all attacks.
” In conclusion, i really enjoyed this speaker and i wouldn’t necessarily pay to hear it because it is widely obtainable through radio and the internet. I love how he was able to keep his speech simple and straightforward and be able to touch on all of his key points. Churchill was no doubt an amazing effective speaker. His speech conveyed a very powerful message that resulted in Germany winning the war.
Three things that i feel the speaker did exceptionally well was how he was able to make a connection with his audience and getting his main points across using an appeal to reason, logic and emotion with facts behind them through truth and determination. I strongly believe that this speech is one of the most effective speeches ever.