‘This is how leaders speak’: communication coach impressed by 1965 Lee Kuan Yew speech

'This is how leaders speak': communication coach impressed by 1965 Lee Kuan Yew speech

LKY speech is example of how leaders talk, says public speaking coach

While Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) is no longer with us, his influence remains strong.

A public speaking and communication coach recently analysed a speech made by Mr Lee almost six decades ago and held it up as an example of how a leader speaks.


This is how leaders speak. Lee Kuan Yew Former Prime Minister of Singapore

♬ original sound – Yasir Khan

He noted that Mr Lee would vary his speech patterns and talk to his audience as if they were having a conversation.

“It’s speeches like these that change the world,” the coach said.

Public speaking coach lauds 1965 LKY speech, says this is how leaders talk

On 9 Feb, public speaking coach Yasir Khan analysed a speech that Mr Lee made on 3 Oct 1965 at the 28th-anniversary celebrations of the Liquor Retailers Association at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

The video, which was posted on Instagram and TikTok, was captioned “Speak like a leader” and included an analysis of how Mr Lee delivered his speech.

This is the portion quoted:

I am calculating not in terms of the next election; that is no trouble. ’68 is no trouble. I am calculating in terms of the next generation; in terms of the next 100 years; in terms of eternity; and believe you me, for the next thousand years, we will be here. I won’t be here, but people like me, and like my friends here tonight, will be here: recognisable, identifiable, a thousand years from hence. And it is people who calculate and think in those terms that deserve to survive.

“When he speaks, you can just feel the conviction and confidence in his voice,” said Mr Khan. “He talks loudly, but then more quietly, and assertively, and then loudly again.”

lky speech leader

Source: @speakingwithyasir on Instagram

Mr Khan explained that this variety in Mr Lee’s speech patterns keeps things interesting, adding, “He doesn’t stutter one time and he paces himself.”

He’s looking at the audience like he’s having a conversation with them. It’s speeches like this that change the world.

Speech was made right after Singapore’s independence

The speech excerpt, which you can view on YouTube, dealt with how Singapore needed to have a long-term view of the future.

When Mr Lee said he was not calculating in terms of the next election but in terms of the next 100 years and even eternity, one could feel he meant it.

Mr Lee also said that although he would not be here in a thousand years, others like him would.

Comments marvel at LKY’s oratory skills

Many comments paid tribute to how Mr Lee not only talked the talk but also walked the walk.

Not only did he excel in speech-making, but he also made Singapore what it is today.

lky speech leader

Source: Instagram

Another comment hailed Mr Lee’s visionary speech and that it served as a reminder of his legacy and impact, which endures to this day.

lky speech leader

Source: Instagram

One user recalled meeting Mr Lee at an event 15 years ago and experiencing his “voice of power” firsthand.

Source: Instagram

Even though Mr Lee didn’t say much, the user said that they could “feel his strength in his voice”.

When even professional speech coaches are taking cues from Lee Kuan Yew, you know he was a good orator.

Also read: Man Moved To S’pore At 86 Due To Safety, Video Of Him Thanking Lee Kuan Yew Goes Viral

Man Moved To S’pore At 86 Due To Safety, Video Of Him Thanking Lee Kuan Yew Goes Viral

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Featured image adapted from @speakingwithyasir on Instagram.

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