Speak like a leader | Simon Lancaster | TEDxVerona

  • Published on May 23, 2016
  • Did you know there is a secret language of leadership that determines who reaches the top in politics and business?
    In this fast-paced and frequently funny TEDx talk, top speechwriter, Simon Lancaster, sets out the techniques that you can use to speak like a leader. The talk culminates in Simon Lancaster instantly improvising a powerful leadership speech based on an idea suggested by the audience.
    Simon Lancaster is one of the world’s top speechwriters. He started working as a speechwriter in the late 1990s to members of Tony Blair’s Cabinet and now writes speeches for the CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the world including Unilever, Intercontinental Hotels and HSBC. He is a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University, Henley Business School and author of two best-selling books on communication: Speechwriting: The Expert Guide and Winning Minds: Secrets from the Language of Leadership. His award winning workshops on the language of leadership have been run to great acclaim around the world: for more information, see www.bespokeleadershipdevelopment.com.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at ted.com/tedx

Comments • 758

  • Fahad Khalaf
    Fahad Khalaf Day ago

    Very helpful for sure. Lovely

  • michael s
    michael s 2 days ago

    He does not recite the COMPLETE spelling rule: "I before E except after C, *OR* when sounded as A, as in neighbor or weigh."

  • Vusi Mahlobo
    Vusi Mahlobo 2 days ago +1

    This gent is impressive

  • TransHuman
    TransHuman 7 days ago +1

    His closing is spot on. 🏴‍☠️⚖️🤴🏻

  • TyrionDies
    TyrionDies 8 days ago

    Apart from songs, this is possibly the only video I've watched repeatedly. Brilliant, from start to finish

  • xstrawbrysx
    xstrawbrysx 10 days ago

    Thoroughly loved this speech 👏💗👍 well done 🎉 x

  • Mauro Belem
    Mauro Belem 10 days ago

    I wonder of those that are listening during the moment he improvised the last words rhymed because the bold guy did not look like he’s having fun

  • R. Sebastian
    R. Sebastian 13 days ago

    the way to manipulate - good techniques for politicians...

  • Juan Rios
    Juan Rios 16 days ago

    That awkward moment where his pro-trump applause was about 30% more than his anti-Trump applause in Verona, Italy.

  • MIKO496
    MIKO496 17 days ago


  • Yucong Li
    Yucong Li 22 days ago

    Interesting method of "being a leader". However this guy appears more like an extrovert. We can't judge people's leadership style by whether adopting these techniques at all as there are certainly introverted leaders who might focus more on how things really are rather than how they drag people's attention. If only there was no sort of "determinator" for "style" for being leaders, the contents and ideas themselves are more worthwhile to be seen.

  • Albon Queely
    Albon Queely 28 days ago

    Amen guys X

  • Runway Fashion Exchange

    Thumbs up until he said dump Trump. I wouldnt like Trump either if I was from Britan and Trump had just leveled the economic warfare Britan has been waging on the US for decades. Self serving, Unnerving, and not politically swerving.

  • otherone1234
    otherone1234 29 days ago

    30 year old wrapped in a 100 year old body.

  • c rose
    c rose Month ago +1

    Wow! You're good

  • Art by Atlas
    Art by Atlas Month ago +1

    He's good!

  • Engl easy
    Engl easy Month ago +1

    It's more honourable to fart than to flee...

  • Zhang Yu
    Zhang Yu Month ago +1

    Great advice, let me try it out in my next toastmaster speech!

  • الرحيق المختوم

    LIKE is not enough to say THAT IS GREAT

  • Nayan Molla
    Nayan Molla 2 months ago +1

    The talk was worth watching, every second! Lovely, Eloquent and Impactful!

  • Sumedhe Dissanayake
    Sumedhe Dissanayake 2 months ago +1

    Great speech!

  • michael karanjaw
    michael karanjaw 2 months ago +1

    Oh this man can think on his feet

  • Alex K
    Alex K 2 months ago +1

    this guy had my full engagement the whole video. Some of my instructors could stand to learn a few things from him also the dump trump he's a chump rhyme was too freaking funny, im gonna be using that one for sure

  • Xiao-Meng Wang
    Xiao-Meng Wang 2 months ago +1

    This mate’s last name deserves to be a leader.

  • o k
    o k 2 months ago +2

    06:23 Balanced, As everything should be

  • Warren Stanfield
    Warren Stanfield 2 months ago +1


  • Lam Dieu
    Lam Dieu 2 months ago +1

    "How about democracy?"

  • Taher Afridi
    Taher Afridi 2 months ago +2

    Great presentation but what a dead boring audience!

  • Bob Freese
    Bob Freese 2 months ago

    Oh well, he was good til he bashed Trump. Not agreeing is OK, being a chump about it means he is not authentic.

  • Sulaiman Dawood
    Sulaiman Dawood 3 months ago +2

    This was so good! This has actually made me think how as writers we've automatically learnt this way of writing by reading so many classical books by celebrated writers! Still in love with Charles Dickens.

  • Luc de Haas
    Luc de Haas 3 months ago +2

    Great speech, I might add body language to the list

  • Anthony Sole
    Anthony Sole 3 months ago +2

    The reason the United States thrives is because we are a constitutional Republic, NOT a democracy. Rhetoric is for those who wish to manipulate, policies are for those who lead! Aim to help others, not promote some rhetoric.

  • Arun Kumar
    Arun Kumar 3 months ago +6

    An Unusual TED talk that gives you tips and validation instead of beating around the bush.

  • travis wood
    travis wood 3 months ago

    Wish he didn't use his platform to teach as a political soapbox. He unfortunately couldn't help himself to forcing his political opinion on the audience. As a speaker this is a big no no and by the crowds reaction thru most of it he lost half the audience. Maybe he should go to the next room to the public speaking seminar. He had the content but was a very unprofessional in his delivery.

  • drewrj54
    drewrj54 3 months ago

    There is no amazing to this. He had to throw in a Trump comment to get any sort of reaction.

  • cornallious1
    cornallious1 3 months ago +1

    *wears a 3 button suit to make a point*

  • Nicolas Jomolca
    Nicolas Jomolca 3 months ago +1

    Wow. I love Trump now.

  • Bluntron
    Bluntron 3 months ago

    "We" whose we? The dudes not even american. You are not included in the "We" Sorry.

  • HM
    HM 3 months ago

    He has a certain manner about him that is similar to David Brent.

  • Karim Sinan
    Karim Sinan 3 months ago +1

    12:54 who put the piece of bread there

  • 李威志
    李威志 3 months ago

    8:28 *distant megalovania fades in*

  • Ken Ewan
    Ken Ewan 3 months ago

    Loved the technics and that improvisation. Rhetoric really is so useful but is not taught enough among people.

  • HQ English
    HQ English 4 months ago +1

    Just great

  • Ujjwal Khadka
    Ujjwal Khadka 4 months ago

    emotion exaggeration
    rhyming sentence

  • Silvia Zweifel
    Silvia Zweifel 4 months ago +2

    Inspiring, valuable, provoking! Good stuff

  • Smart Sweet
    Smart Sweet 4 months ago

    He looks scared of his own body ... But I did like his speech tho

  • Smart Sweet
    Smart Sweet 4 months ago

    Uehh .. He himself can't speak . It looks like he sells ice cream .

    ERMELINDA SALINAS 4 months ago +1

    he is good

  • Andrew Sav
    Andrew Sav 4 months ago +3

    We should *dump* *trump* , interesting use of rhyming words to subvert political conversation with sloganeering rhetoric :)

  • tjkoker
    tjkoker 4 months ago

    Amazing Speaker, Amazing Topic, Amazing Presentation. Great job Simon!

  • Amber McGar
    Amber McGar 4 months ago

    Yes yes yes! I love this!

  • Phyllis Simon
    Phyllis Simon 4 months ago

    I have to say this iS by far the most enjoyable TEDX I have ever watched. THANK YOU!!

  • MrJonUve
    MrJonUve 4 months ago


  • Benzinio
    Benzinio 4 months ago

    Excellent presentation!

  • Fukurokuju
    Fukurokuju 4 months ago

    6:43 . - Girl's face says it all... Fantastic Tedx Talk. Give this man a real Ted Talk!!!

  • Gerald Bassig
    Gerald Bassig 4 months ago

    wow amazing :)

  • Josh Owrns
    Josh Owrns 4 months ago

    Nice opening joke, you weasel

  • TheLeadersTeacher
    TheLeadersTeacher 5 months ago

    Wonderful person with a professional presentation.
    I Can not have enough of this speech.
    Thank you for this Gift.

  • Earth girl 地球女孩

    He's an excellent guide to public speaking (speaking from my own experience). Wise words in the end; schools of rhetoric must be available for all children whose future is in their hands because adults failed them.

  • Mr.Ghostkeeper
    Mr.Ghostkeeper 5 months ago

    just curious why is there some people in the audience wearing headphones is there a translator or something for them? also great video thank you for sharing

  • L M
    L M 5 months ago

    I know it’s just for laughs but “fight” does not sound like “fart” in an Australian accent. Just saying.

  • Bonnie Robinson
    Bonnie Robinson 6 months ago +1

    Loved the Ted Talk and agree we should Dump Trump.

  • Auwal Adamu Gaya
    Auwal Adamu Gaya 6 months ago +1

    Very interesting topic, well articulated presentation.

  • debra weaver
    debra weaver 6 months ago

    I'm going to try "Three Breathless Sentences" during my next morning report session.

  • Faisal Hassan
    Faisal Hassan 6 months ago +1

    What a personality,,

  • Faisal Hassan
    Faisal Hassan 6 months ago +1

    great speech..

  • Thomas Rones
    Thomas Rones 6 months ago

    Interesting so far, but the financial crisis was not due to greedy bankers, timid politicians, or ineffective regulators. The system was broken. The individuals making the loans did not have to bear the risk of those loans. If they did, then they wouldn't make loans that are too risky because they would lose their money; it's common sense.

  • Rasa Meškauskienė
    Rasa Meškauskienė 6 months ago +1

    Amazing! Loved it

  • Michelle Reed
    Michelle Reed 6 months ago +3

    Great speech!
    Being Australian, I amost tuned out after that terrible Australian accent, glad I stuck it out.

  • Jimmy Charles
    Jimmy Charles 6 months ago

    We don’t have an accent you have one

  • kshitij sharma
    kshitij sharma 7 months ago +1

    L o l

  • Amir Jamili
    Amir Jamili 7 months ago +1

    I liked fabulous energy that he has in his speech.

  • Alexandra G
    Alexandra G 7 months ago +3

    balanced, as all things should be

  • Lavender Violet
    Lavender Violet 8 months ago +1

    my biggest fear: I will live and die alone; forever without true love and real friendships.

  • Jereme Salazar
    Jereme Salazar 8 months ago +1

    In variety of speaking technique we must not forget to make our audience smile or laugh or else they will sleep.

  • Jereme Salazar
    Jereme Salazar 8 months ago +1

    I like this speaker because of the relevance of the content of the topic-"Speaking like Leaders," and how he use the materials he had at hand. The body phonetics, the changing timber of voice, even history of speakers and their immortal quotes. Nice...I like it.

  • Johnny Wong
    Johnny Wong 8 months ago

    The talker says that these rhetorical devices help to make our speech being accepted or trusted by the others, even if our speech is something wrong. He should have said that we need to use this rhetorical devices to get only true message straight.

  • Shoaib Furqan
    Shoaib Furqan 8 months ago +1

    Excellent. Hats off to you Sir.

  • Darren Z
    Darren Z 8 months ago +1

    What a legend

  • Minh H. Nguyen
    Minh H. Nguyen 8 months ago +1

    Wow, my best TED for this year.

  • Sandra Lizioli
    Sandra Lizioli 8 months ago +1

    Just brilliant!

  • Coty Schwabe
    Coty Schwabe 8 months ago +1

    Probably one of the best TED talks I’ve ever seen. It was powerful, concise, and actionable.

  • jisan
    jisan 8 months ago +1

    Best talk

  • Nilanjan Paul
    Nilanjan Paul 8 months ago +1

    _I like his laughs_

  • Vasu Eesala
    Vasu Eesala 8 months ago


  • sarath mohan
    sarath mohan 9 months ago

    you can speak like a leader when you are a leader: being a leader in itself implies that you speak with clarity,conviction and confidence, by learning to speak like a leader is a futile attempt to imitate what others do and it may bring in momentary applause but still is a futile effort. Speaking about Rhetoric it comes automatically with the quality of a leader and in my opinion can never be imposed or articulated artificially by using techniques, it can only benefit the person selling the techniques ........

  • M S M
    M S M 9 months ago +2

    this is great!

  • cbsbean
    cbsbean 9 months ago +4

    These principles do overlap with linguistics, which I studied. People don't appreciate rhetoric or linguistics these days. If they did, their lives would be much enhanced in so many different ways.

  • cbsbean
    cbsbean 9 months ago +2

    You are amazing!! You have just enhanced my life in a big way. Thank you. And you are super cute as well.

  • Jason Turner Video
    Jason Turner Video 9 months ago

    This was good at first but I felt he was trying to sneak in his political opinions constantly..

  • Bashir Abdullah
    Bashir Abdullah 9 months ago +2

    Good scientific explanation...

    ALCOMMINTL ALEJANDRO 10 months ago +2


  • Bisharo Ali
    Bisharo Ali 10 months ago +2

    Wow. I loved it..

  • Atul Kurani
    Atul Kurani 10 months ago +5

    Too much to learn from this 19 min lesson.. Excellent

  • Des9 o
    Des9 o 10 months ago +2


  • Jim Hagler
    Jim Hagler 10 months ago +2

    So don't ask an Aussie rock band to cover the beasties boys then right. You've got to fart for your rart to part-ee!

  • Jorge Romera
    Jorge Romera 10 months ago +9

    Wow! Aristotle would have loved this guy

  • 444suse
    444suse 10 months ago

    Generally speaking i have studied so long time history and found tons of myths that i have started to hate and despise these talking heads like politicians and media people.

  • elnaz afat
    elnaz afat 10 months ago +2

    Who dislikes this?

  • yamizer0
    yamizer0 10 months ago +3

    why when he talks about trump, it reminds me of John Oliver from "Last week Today"