Friday, October 17, 2014

8 famous speeches by young women in The Eloquent Woman Index

They ranged in age from 12 to 25 when they gave these famous speeches, but each of these young women had enough impact to make it into The Eloquent Woman Index of Famous Speeches by Women. From causes like education and the environment to personal revelations and skilled storytelling, these young women are speakers to watch. In each post, you'll find video, text and tips you can take from their outstanding speeches:
  1. Severn Suzuki's 1992 UN Earth Summit speech happened when she was just 12 years old, making her the youngest speaker in the Index. She cuts right to the point, schooling her elders who were in Rio arguing over what to do when. For her, the answers were clear.
  2. Kayla Kearney came out to her high school assembly at age 17, using the theme about talking about things that matter as the entree to sharing her difficult topic. It's a short but powerful tour de force.
  3. Sarah Kay's "Tshotsoloza" showcases this popular young storyteller's art in a spoken word piece that she created after seeing a photo in a South African museum. It's a rhythmic and mesmerizing piece, her trademark speaking style.
  4. Devon Brooks used a TEDx talk to share her sexual assault and to change the conversation about sexual violation. Just 25 when she shared her story, she made sure it would reach her peers as well as the more senior adults who can do something about her cause.
  5. Lily Myers's "Shrinking Woman" speech debuted at a spoken-word poetry slam when she was 20. It's an observant and uncomfortable insight about women and men, the space we take up, and body image.
  6. Malala Yousafzai's UN address on youth education took place on her 16th birthday. It's a decidedly feminist speech and one that went viral with her positive focus on education for girls and boys everywhere.    
  7. Malala's first public statement since her shooting is the briefest of these speeches, given when she was 15 and just a few months after the Taliban attacked her. Contrast this one with her UN speech to see her amazing progress.
  8. Rashema Melson's high school valedictory speech wowed audiences worldwide because she was at the top of her class despite living in a homeless shelter. But the speech itself is compact and compelling, demonstrating restraing and good rhetoric.

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