The Four Speeches Every Leader Has to Know

  • Bård Norheim
  • Joar Haga

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Bård Norheim, Joar Haga
    Pages 1-20
  3. Bård Norheim, Joar Haga
    Pages 21-56
  4. Bård Norheim, Joar Haga
    Pages 57-72
  5. Bård Norheim, Joar Haga
    Pages 73-91
  6. Bård Norheim, Joar Haga
    Pages 93-109
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 111-125

About this book


This book provides a rhetorical manual for political and business leaders to motivate followers even in times of hardship. It covers the fine art of persuasion and argues that there are four speeches every leader has to know: the opening speech, the executioner speech, the consolation speech, and the farewell speech. The authors explore how leaders could speak in order to appear credible to an audience, and they argue that the leader has to take on suffering and give meaning to suffering people experience. To be persuasive, the speaking leader therefore has to acknowledge that life is inscribed in the reality of change and suffering. The point is not to glorify suffering, but to acknowledge the depths of the human condition and how this knowledge may shape the art of speaking well. The book analyzes speeches from a wide variety of speakers, including Sir Winston Churchill, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, and Angela Merkel, and ends with a rhetorical dictionary for leaders to help readers familiarize themselves with helpful terms from rhetorical theory.

Bård Norheim is Associate Professor of Practical Theology at NLA University College, Norway.

Joar Haga is Associate Professor II of Church History at NLA University College, Norway, and Associate Professor of Church History at VID Specialized University, Norway.


opening speech executioner speech consolation speech farewell speech speaking with authority rhetoric rhetorical handbook persuasion adaptive leadership disruptive leadership Winston Churchill Barack Obama Angela Merkel Mother Teresa Nelson Mandela Rhetorical Dictionary for Leaders rhetorical tools political leader rhetoric business leader rhetoric

Authors and affiliations

  • Bård Norheim
    • 1
  • Joar Haga
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Theology, Religion and PhilosophyNLA University CollegeBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of Theology, Religion and PhilosophyNLA University CollegeBergenNorway

Bibliographic information