The Power of Speech

Recently I was offered the opportunity to give a cultural speech on a topic of my choosing to a small group of people. And although in the midst of a massive low in my fight against depression I thought I better take the chance. It’s not only great exercise for my creative writing skills but hopefully if it goes well it’ll give me a bit of a confidence boost, something that quite frankly I need.

The trouble is, once I agreed I found out it ideally needed to last ten minutes. It wasn’t until I started writing that I realised how many words you need to fill ten minutes of time. I wrote three different speeches as I couldn’t settle on a topic. Two of the speeches take me about five minutes to get through so clearly I didn’t have enough to say on those topics. Then I bashed out a speech about depression and how understanding it better can help those suffering. It took me ten minutes to talk through it. But if I’m honest it was crap. It didn’t really feel like a speech.

So now I’m sat here wondering what the bloody hell I have to give a speech on for ten minutes. What am I passionate enough about to talk for ten minutes? What do I want to say to make an impact on peoples mind? I’m no Martin Luther King obviously, but wouldn’t it be great if I used this small platform to not just practice my speech writing but actually say something worthwhile? Speeches should be more than just a one sided conversation presented to a crowd. They should be empowering, uplifting or thought provoking. They should really evoke a sense of importance to the listener. A well written and spoken speech has the power to send chills down your spine and raise those goosebumps. Those really great speeches can be recalled from that well repeated phrase that links the whole speech together. We all remember ‘I have a dream’ and ‘ We shall fight on the beaches’ (Churchill was actually a pretty poor public speaker in my opinion but the speech still resonated with his people).

So my question is this, if you were given the same opportunity, would you take it? And if you would, what would you talk about?

S. Hansen


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