6 public speaking lessons from an Air Force Academy leader

Lieutenant General Jay Silveria recently addressed racial attacks in a press conference that’s now gone viral. Here’s what communicators of all stripes can take from his powerful words.

It’s easy to see why a speech by the Air Force Academy’s superintendent went viral.

Five black cadet candidates at the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School were recently targeted in message boards with ugly racist attacks.

According to the Air Force Times:

Lt. Col. Allen Herritage, director of public affairs for the academy, said the slurs were discovered Monday. One cadet candidate’s mother posted a photo on her Facebook page Wednesday that shows the words “go home n*****r” written on the white board outside her son’s room.

Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria addressed thousands of students about the verbal attacks. His five-minute speech is worth watching in full. As many commenters on the YouTube video remarked, “This is what leadership looks like.”

To help you improve your own presentations, consider these six elements Silveria aced in his speech:

1. His message was unambiguous.

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