Friday, February 1, 2013

What's next for Famous Speech Friday & The Eloquent Woman Index

The speeches captured in this blog's Famous Speech Friday series all wind up in The Eloquent Woman Index of Famous Women's Speeches. As of last month, the series and the Index have examined 100 famous speeches by women, a milestone that makes me proud, tired and a little bit in awe.

Not long after I started this blog, I started hearing from speaker coaches and speakers asking for good examples of speeches by women other than Eleanor Roosevelt and Barbara Jordan. Now, 100 speeches in, you don't have to hunt for a wide range of notable speeches by women.

So what's next?

I could stop doing the series, having long ago proved the point that there are plenty of famous speeches by women. But lots of readers tell me "I look forward to Famous Speech Friday" or "this is such a great way to learn about women and their issues." At the same time, the Index gets more unwieldy the larger it becomes. Readers report that they roam the Index looking for inspiration, historic examples, speeches on a particular topic, individual speakers and other slices of information.

As a result, 2013 will see the start of some new twists and takes on the series and the Index:
  • Famous Speech Fridays will continue, in part because there are just too many great speeches and speakers to cover, in part because there are yet more varieties of topics, types of speeches and types of speakers to include. There are plenty of FSF posts in the queue, and I just know new examples will be popping up on my radar this year. But FSF posts won't appear every Friday, so that we can introduce this next option.
  • The Index will get more useful, as we introduce hashtags for topics, themes, types of speakers and types of speeches. You'll also start seeing Friday posts that compile subgroups of speeches from the Index, such as speeches about failure, or by women in politics, or by kids and teens, or extemporaneous speeches. I'm hoping these tools will help you better search and use the Index. Posts that help compile the Index in this way will be alternating with regular Famous Speech Friday posts. We'll start next week with the Index's collection of speeches by African-American women.
  • The Eloquent Woman YouTube channel is now available, with all the speeches in the Index that are available on video, plus other videos from the blog. It's your ready-made channel of great examples of women speaking, whether you need it for practice, ideas or inspiration.
  • I'm assembling the Famous Speech Friday bookshelf, which will collect books about each of the speakers (and where possible, the speeches) featured in the Index, so you can learn more about these eloquent woman. Stand by for bookshelf posts and a page devoted to the shelf coming this year.
  • We'll keep on pinning Famous Speech Friday posts on The Eloquent Woman board on Pinterest, and quotes from the series on the Great quotes by eloquent women board. The quotes board also can be accessed from The Eloquent Woman on Facebook, too!
  • I'll keep asking for your leads and suggestions, since some of the best FSF posts have been brought to me by readers and fans. If you have a suggestion for a speaker, famous speech, type of speaker or type of speaking example you'd like to see in a Famous Speech Friday post, please email me at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz. And if you've sent a suggestion, stay tuned...more are coming.
I use a simple but challenging set of criteria for the series, and that won't be changing. The speeches in the Famous Speech Friday series must be:

  • famous in some way, via news coverage, social media feedback, or some other measure
  • given by a female speaker, but she need not be famous--some of the best entries have been from women made famous by the speech, instead of the other way around
  • speeches that incorporate women's issues in some way, and that yield practical examples that any speaker can put to use
The speech can be from long ago or last week, although I don't always cover famous speeches immediately, since it sometimes pays to wait to hear all the reactions. I'd love to hear your suggestions, and thank you for your support for this ongoing feature!

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