How to Inspire Like Oprah When Speaking

How to Inspire Like Oprah When Speaking

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group.

In a room filled with arguably some of the best actors, presenters and speakers in the world, Oprah Winfrey delivered an incredibly moving acceptance speech. She spoke with passion and emotion that transported every member of the audience – both those present and those watching from afar – along on a journey with her. From her opening line, she drew us in and captured our attention. How did she do it?

“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”

Oprah spoke her truth, from her heart; she shared her belief and she inspired us to strive for a future we can only imagine.

Oprah’s truth inspired her delivery. She felt it, she believed it, and she exuded that confidence and commitment through every word she spoke. That passion and conviction, drew each and every one of us in. She showed her authentic self, and delivered much more than an acceptance speech. She used her time at the podium as a platform for change.

What can we learn from Oprah?

  • Speak your truth – Regardless of your profession, whether you’re accepting an award in Hollywood, or standing up in a meeting, share your honest opinions, be candid about the challenges you face and the successes you’ve experienced.
  • Show your emotion — In the workplace, we may feel that we need to put on our professional façade, but there are times when it is appropriate and essential to demonstrate your emotion. Look to Oprah, to see how passion can resonate with the audience. Be bold, and be honest. Say what you think.
  • Include everyone — Your connection with the audience is what really moves them. The story, the details, and the numbers will reinforce your message, but the real way to affect an audience is to find your connection. Oprah did it in the first few minutes, when she portrayed a scene we could all recall: sitting on the floor, watching television, finding inspiration.

The power of your message will come through when you can be honest, be real, and be inclusive. It may feel vulnerable, it may be counter-intuitive, and it may feel risky. But try it. You’ll be amazed at your impact.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at

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