Friday, January 3, 2014

Starting 2014 with 128 speeches in The Eloquent Woman Index

Please share this image and the Index
I've accomplished many things in my career, but few can match the impact of The Eloquent Woman Index of famous speeches by women, which saw many milestones in 2013. We celebrated our 100th post, and we're starting 2014 with a total of 128 famous speeches by women, most with an emphasis on women's issues.

If you're new to the blog, the Index grew out of the Famous Speech Friday series in which I weekly publish a post detailing a famous speech by a woman. That series evolved after I tired of other speaker coaches asking me where they could find more recent speeches by women than, say, Eleanor Roosevelt's. A reader, Jennie Poppenger, suggested the name for the series. Today, the Index is a wonderful resource with a wide variety of examples from which to choose, a source of information and inspiration that fills a real gap.

Each Famous Speech Friday post must be about a famous speech by a woman (not necessarily a famous woman) past or present. I prefer speeches that deal with women's issues, in whole or in part, and always look for at least three things any woman speaker can learn from these great speeches. After that, the field is wide open on what the format, topic or setting for the speech look like. To make sure the blog helps to keep women's speeches available, each post in the series includes--where available--video, audio, text or transcripts. Freelance writer Becky Ham researches and writes many of the FSF posts.

I can't end the year without thanking the many readers who pitch in to make the Famous Speech Friday posts successful. Readers send me tips, leads, videos and texts for these posts, and one reader, Karoline Henriques, even translated a speech from Danish to English and wrote the post so we could feature it. These readers are worth their weight in gold--so thank you! I'm always happy to hear your suggestions for speeches to include in the series. Special thanks this year to Lucy Gregg, Cate Huston, Irene O'Mara, Matt Shipman, and Marcus Webb for their suggestions and leads.

In 2013, the series expanded its global range in the Index with speeches from women in Denmark, England, France, India, Ireland, Liberia, Malawi, Pakistan and the United States. They join a roster of speeches that includes women speakers from Argentina, Australia, Burma, Canada, France, Haiti, India, Kenya, Macedonia, Morocco, and the United Kingdom  Today, one-quarter of the speeches in the Index are from non-U.S. women. This year, we also began collecting speeches in the Index and publishing posts on groups of them, by type of speaker, topic, or type of speech. Those collections included:

Entries by type of speech:
8 famous commencement speeches by women
6 famous extemporaneous speeches by women

Entries by type of speaker:
17 famous speeches by African-American women speakers
9 famous speeches by women legislators
6 famous speeches by women scientists
5 famous speeches by women who feared public speaking

Entries by topic:
13 famous speeches by women about death and dying
7 famous speeches by women about health
13 famous human rights speeches by women

6 famous speeches by women about the law
6 famous speeches about voting by women speakers
15 famous UK and European speeches by women

Please share the Index with friends and colleagues as a resource, and use it in your own speeches--as inspiration or as a source of quotes by women.

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