Public Speaking Guide: Muhammad Ali

Writing 101

Muhammad Ali: Greatest Boxer and Powerful Public Speaker  

Muhammad Ali is not only well renowned for his aggressive boxing style but also for his provocative style of public speaking both inside and outside of the ring. Many remember him as king of the ring, world heavyweight champion, Olympic gold medalist, phenomenal athlete, American hero, epitome of the indomitable willpower, king of inspirational quotes, true champion of words and many other titles. Let’s analyze his secrets of success.

Public Speaking, Pep Talk India, English Speaking


Narcissism and self-praise – real engine of insane confidence

He often referred himself as “I’m the greatest,” and was not afraid to speak about his own strengths. He was noted for boasting about his skills before any bout and for his colorful self-description, phrases and inspirational and intimidating style of speaking. In other words, his verbal punches were equally lethal as the actual punches in boxing.  In one of his more famously quoted vivid self-description, Ali told reporters that he could “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.” 

Charisma blended with words of courage

Celebrated for his uber confidence, charisma, and courage, he was a source of inspiration for many who needed instant motivation. Ali was aware of how to captivate his fans and audience through his words and game both in and out of the ring. It’s not just the sheer intensity with which he delivered the speech, he is also known for making sensible talk and quick-witted humour. Ali’s words of wisdom still inspire greatness. In an interview with David Frost in 1974, Ali said “I have done something special, I’ve wrestled with alligators, I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning and throw thunder in jail. You know I’m bad. Just last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.”

Legacy of Fearlessness

In the legendary fight, Ali was pitted against undefeated heavyweight champion George Foreman which took place in 1974. Titled as the “Rumble in the Jungle,” the bout was testimony to the unbridled passion and fearlessness that Ali demonstrated by his master class performance and by reclaiming the heavyweight title. Same passion and fearlessness was evident every time he went on the stage to deliver scintillating speech. Muhammad Ali did not just fight hard in the boxing ring; he fought hard in life for everything he believed in. And that’s the legacy of legendary boxer.


Muhammad Ali: King of Quotable Quotes

“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.”

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

“Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.”

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”

“Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” 


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