Do Your Words Create a Legacy?

We all want to make an impact in life, but I realized recently that setting our goals permanently at “make an impact” is simply setting the bar too low.


An impact can be momentary; but a legacy, in contrast, is timeless.


And one of the primary factors that determines the nature and reach of that legacy is how well we communicate our vision to others. How well we captivate their attention, trigger new thoughts and feelings, and inspire action.


This week we honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the greatest orators in recorded history.


In 1967 Dr. King spoke to the students at Barrett Junior High School in Philadelphia, and the theme of his address that day focused on one core question:


                “What is in your life’s blueprint?”


He went on to explain to them that just as an architect will draw a blueprint as the necessary guide for a well-constructed building, the quality of our lives – and legacies – would equally be determined by whether or not we had designed “a proper, a solid and sound blueprint.”


Similarly, as I see it, the quality and degree of impact you create through anything you say, speech you deliver, conversation you have, or presentation you give will also be determined by the quality of the “blueprint” you designed for it in advance.


So I ask you:


When you need to convey your vision to someone, what’s in your communication blueprint?


Whether you had the opportunity to hear him speak live back in the 1960s or only via archived videos decades later, there is something about the words Dr. King chose and the manner in which he delivered them with each and every letter, sermon and speech, that always seemed to hit you squarely between the eyes as they landed, and stick with you for days, months, and years afterward.


What was it about his oratory style that made the power of his words so timeless?


That’s exactly what we explore on this week’s Speaking to Influence podcast.


In this unique 2-part episode, Nikelle King, Strategic Growth Leader with Google Cloud and Rachael Jones, CEO and co-founder of Syntax, join me to dive into the strategies, tactics, tools and patterns in Dr. King’s most compelling speeches.



The best part? It’s that each and every one of his success measures are attainable for each and every one of us, every single day, both in personal and professional communication.


That’s when our words begin to shape our own legacy.


Listen to the Part 1 of the conversation (episode 139) here or watch the video on YouTube here. The second half of the conversation will be released tomorrow, so be sure to subscribe or bookmark the podcast link now so you are notified when it becomes available. (Trust me, you won’t want to miss it!)


Once you’re full of that inspiration, do you need a chance to start putting it all into practice?


Well in case you missed Friday’s Linkedin Live, How to Instill Confidence In Uncertain Times, you can still watch the replay here.



Given the uncertain economic and social times in which we live, everyone from your employees and direct reports to bosses, investors, clients and even family members need to hear a voice of reassurance… and that voice is YOURS.


Check out this breakdown of the fundamental principles of speaking with confidence and empathy in order to inspire that confidence in others.


Your legacy is calling.