The Mic is Mightier than the Sword closeup image of a microphone with smoke background
June 8, 2021

The Mic is Mightier than the Sword

Bishop T.D. Jakes on connecting with your audience

In our fast-paced society that can lead to feeling disconnected, communication is more essential than ever. Yet many would agree that the public discourse is divisive, negative and downright toxic. In one Pew Research study, 85% of Americans said that the political debate in the US has become less respectful in the past few years. We’re becoming reluctant to have certain conversations, when what we need to do is learn how to communicate.

Public speaking is one way to do this. Great orators have the ability to unify their audience behind a powerful vision. Yet public speaking is one of the most common fears in America – by some estimates as many as three in four people have some degree of public speaking fear. How can we overcome this fear and foster an environment of trust and respect?

Known as America’s Best Preacher, Bishop T.D. Jakes shares with Tony how you can become a great orator. And the first step is to pick up the mic. Pick up the mic on talking to your children, talking to your wife or talking to those close to you about hard subjects. As Jakes says, learning how to become a great orator is about believing “in the power of communication to be the agent that is necessary to bind up the wounds of brokenhearted people.”

Combining passion with power, instinct and intellect, Jakes creates a recipe that you can follow to have your message touch hearts and souls and change the world. This dynamic conversation with Tony and T.D. will touch your heart, make you laugh and teach you wisdom you can use in your daily life. Interested in hearing more from Bishop T.D. Jakes? Listen to a previous episode in which he was featured here.

Ultimately, how to become a great orator – and a great leader – is about real, human connection. It’s about engaging your audience. To do that, embrace growth. Get out of your comfort zone. Talk to people outside of your circle. Talk to people who disagree with you. Step into their experiences and live them as if you were there yourself. As Jakes says, “You have to grow beyond that which is familiar to you.” And as Tony Robbins says, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” Growth is a vital human need and facing our fears is the only way to move forward.


[1:17] Tony welcomes T.D. Jakes
[2:17] TR: Why this book, why now, why Frank Thomas?
[3:30] Don’t drop the mic: the power of communication
[4:13] TR: Tell us the story of you watching the news with your father
[4:54] A man of color speaking on the TV was very, very rare
[5:30] Dr. King grabbed the mic
[6:17] Talk to people outside your bubble
[7:20] Dr. Thomas challenges me to explain how I do what I do
[8:20] “Great communication isn’t just tangible.”
[9:38] TR: What part of Martin Luther King have you embodied or has become a part of you?
[10:27] Church was about more than just faith for the African American community
[12:52] What you don’t know can be expensive
[14:11] TR tells story about being abroad
[15:20] Different types of poor
[16:20] If we can share blood, we can share conversation
[17:31] TR: What do you see is the purpose of communication?
[18:45] Respect and communication
[19:20] Whatever we respect, we give time to
[20:40] The book is just as much about listening as it is about speaking
[22:00] Some of the greatest breakthroughs come from the bellman
[23:00] Aligned interests = trust, but not respect
[24:05] TR: What is presence to you?
[25:24] It’s difficult to trust people who want power without investment
[27:45] T.D. Jakes on his ancestors
[30:14] TR: What is the value of suffering?
[32:30] “When they march, they should sing”
[33:50] TR: The unification of suffering
[35:30] TR: Psychological immunity
[37:16] TR: What’s a situation when you fell flat?
[40:00] TR: How have you had to adapt to be more effective without an audience there?
[41:48] The pandemic created a vortex, and so faith became tangible
[44:30] On Avoiding criticism
[45:30] TR: How can you deal with the fear of public speaking?
[46:48] T.D. Jakes: Talk to yourself
[48:20] We label to file people away
[51:35] TR: Where is love in the magic of your power?
[52:30] Nike’s synergism
[54:25] Car wreck, do you want me to call the police or the ambulance?
[59:22] When I don’t have the ability to articulate what I need, I can only be angry
[1:01:55] “We don’t treat the successful because we believe success cures personal pain and it doesn’t always do that.”
[1:04:38] TR: How important is drama for someone to be effective as a communicator?
[1:06:10] Example: Floyd cried out for his mother. Every woman identified.
[1:08:50] Adornment
[1:10:40] Sweeping dirt floors
[1:11:50] TR: What makes someone a great storyteller?
[1:12:30] Bible story: Bartimaeus
[1:15:30] TR: How do you know when to go off script?
[1:18:38] “You have to engage intellect and instinct”
[1:24:30] We were chosen to have this conversation while the clock is ticking
[1:25:53] TR: What are the most important things to guide someone to not drop the mic?
[1:28:18] “Diversity invites me to the party. Inclusion asks me to dance.”
[1:34:20] “If I didn’t change the world, I changed somebody’s world. If I can change somebody’s world, then to them, I changed the world.”

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