The good news: There are some dedicated websites and books that catalog women's words, voices and speeches to inspire your public speaking. Here's a sampler:
- Look here for historic recordings of women at the Library of Congress, and here for its overall gateway to Library resources on women. They catalog webinars, recordings, photographs, writings, songs and other material.
- Amazon.com offers four pages of search results for books on quotes by women (nearly all titled "The Quotable Woman"), in which you'll find both general and special collections (such as those for African women, women from Texas, and businesswomen). I confess I've had a copy of Elaine Partnow's The Quotable Woman: The First 5,000 Years since my college days, and it's well-worn.
- And about.com offers this page, an index of quotes from famous women, compiled by Jone Johnson Lewis. You'll find many gems here, like this quote from Ursula LeGuin about the power of women when they speak:
We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.I'd suggest that women public speakers use these quotations from other women two ways: As inspiration for your own forays into speaking publicly, and as your preferred source for quotations in your speeches--it'd be a powerful trend if women decidedly preferred to quote other women in their talks and presentations. Look for more updates on sources for these quotes in future posts, and feel free to share your favorites--quotes or sources--in the comments.
Buy books on quotes by women