Community & Government

Maximizing Your Strengths & Learning to Pivot

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Lesson time 09:56 min

As you work on becoming a better public speaker, learn the importance of embracing your unique strengths, knowing how to pivot, and seeking trusted guidance.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Maximizing Your Strengths and Learning to Pivot • Seek Guidance to Pinpoint Areas of Improvement • Prepare to Pivot in Unexpected Situations • Develop Situational Awareness •


[MUSIC PLAYING] HILLARY CLINTON: In your everyday life, you may not be giving speeches or have to face hecklers like me. But understanding your verbal and nonverbal communication strengths, learning to pivot, and being tuned into your environment are universal skills, no matter what you do. When you're in the arena in public speaking, wherever it occurs, you need somebody to give you honest feedback, like, you know, that story made no sense to me, or, boy, did that story hit home. You need to speed up. You've got the same cadence for everything. Some things shouldn't take that long. Or can you try to get your head up, don't look at the paper? Don't look down. And I will tell you about someone who was very successful in politics who really changed the way she spoke. Margaret Thatcher, whose policies I disagreed with, even abhorred often, she was absolutely confident of herself. But she was confident enough to ask for help. - It was an attempt not only to disrupt and terminate our conference. It was an attempt to cripple Her Majesty's democratically-elected government. - She got a lot of help to improve her speaking and also her appearance and her clothes that she wore. We would call that a makeover. In those days, there wasn't, I don't think, such a phrase. She took elocution lessons. She was drilled about how better to present herself, and particularly her voice. She dropped the octaves of her voice. It had been high. She brought it much lower. - I'm never totally without nerves. I'm normally as frightened as a kitten. It's just that somehow you manage to control it. - And so part of what you have to do is ask for guidance or help so that you know what your strengths are and you know what your weaknesses are. And sometimes, you can really work to improve your weaknesses so that they're not dragging you down. But sometimes, you have to override them and not be affected by them. Like, if you, you know, if you're a person who's not tall, you're not gonna command a room when you immediately walk in. You know, when Barack Obama or Bill Clinton walk in, everybody knows they're in the room, partly because they're tall. When I walk in, it's like, here I am, here I am. Well, same with somebody like Margaret Thatcher, you know, or former Senator Barbara Mikulski, who's not even five feet tall, or former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. They always stand in a box because if they don't, they won't be seen if there's a lectern. So you have to know, physically, how you will be perceived, as well as what your words are. [MUSIC PLAYING] I took a speech class when I was a sophomore in high school. And we had to give a series of speeches, like, once every two weeks or so. And you had to read famous speeches and diagram speeches. So the teacher would sit in the back of the room because he wanted to know if you could project. And you had to go to the front of the room. An...

About the Instructor

With a lifetime of smashing barriers and achieving at the highest levels of public service, Hillary Rodham Clinton has learned to tap deep wells of resilience to reach her goals. Now the former U.S. senator and secretary of state is teaching the values, lessons, and practical tools that help her rise above, even sharing her never-before-heard 2016 presidential victory speech. Be inspired to own your ambition and make your mark.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Barrier-smashing leader Hillary Rodham Clinton teaches you how to overcome setbacks and build a life of principle and purpose.

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