World Speech Day is an organisation encouraging individuals, clubs, schools and other organisations to deliver speeches. It celebrates the power of speeches and supports people to deliver these.
We are lucky enough to be able to access great speeches and content online. There are some incredible TED Talks that inspire us to consider challenges; change our mindset and opinions. Debates in governments are often televised now, with notable speeches being saved on Youtube The search engine is effective in discovering some inspirational speeches.
So when I was researching for this article, I wanted to share a well constructed, well delivered speech that made me go WOW! I decided on Julia Gillard’s “Misogyny Speech” that was delivered with panache: an oral version of “between the eyes”. It was a game changer for any female leader. In her case, she had had to endure significant and unacceptable sexist behaviour, despite being the Prime Minister of Australia.
Gillard was understandably furious at the way she was being treated. But also the irony that the leader of the opposition, who was constantly spreading Sexist remarks about her, was saying he was not sexist. Yet the way she used the energy from her anger was very effective. Watch her speech in full here.
It is no surprise that the speech was voted the most unforgettable speech on Australian TV by The Guardian readers. The speech is powerful because it is clear, concise, focused and eloquent. There is repetition of key thoughts which is powerful. She also delivered the speech with minimal notes. Recently Gillard was asked about the speech and how she prepared for it. I have put the video interview below.
So isn’t it interesting that whilst the speech appeared spontaneous, in fact she had done some planning. From my experience, people that write their own speeches, or are proactive in contributing to the content, are more effective at engaging their audiences. Antiseptic political speeches, written by speech writers, aren’t always the most effective way to deliver messages. This also applies to us as speakers. Whilst it is always so useful to have advice from others; and if necessary for someone to structure an important speech; using your own words is crucial to create an authentic message. We often work with female as well as male leaders to ensure they are able to make a positive impact as well as dealing with challenging situations. More information here.
So what do you think about Gillard’s speech? Do you feel it was memorable? Which speeches do you believe were great? I’d love to hear your views on this.