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I’m Ugly and Have a High Pitched, Irritating Voice | Public Speaking | Presentation Skills

“I have a high pitched and squeaky voice. I am tall and gangly. When reporters and journalists talk about me or draw me, they describe me as looking like an ape, and yet I went on to make a few marvelous public speeches and presentations. I even kept this country together during the Civil War. my name is Abraham Lincoln.”

The story of Lincoln as a speaker is a fascinating one because this was the time before videos existed. You could not just go to YouTube and watch him speak so people typically read the Gettysburg Address or any of his other inaugural addresses these days. We tend to think of him in terms of writing but he spent most of his time delivering speeches as compared to writing them and according to all observers, he had a very screechy and not so appealing voice.

However, here is the interesting aspect: in his day, there were no loudspeakers so when he was speaking to 10,000 people, he did not have speakers or microphones to amplify his voice. So the fact that his voice was naturally high, it was easier to get carried and for people to hear and understand him clearly. That is the real lesson for anyone today who aspires to leadership and speaking.

It is not so important to have a deep and rich voice or for it to be able to fit the so called standard of a beautiful voice: what really matters is that people can hear and understand you and that you have good idea- if you do, you can make a difference.

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