Monday, November 15, 2010

What are the best speeches in the women? I've got 2 to start.

Some time ago, another speaking coach emailed to ask me whether I could suggest videos of today's top women speakers--so I asked readers, who came up with these amazing examples of current women speakers. Now, I'm looking for women's speeches in the movies. Not monologues, not great individual discourses, but speeches in front of audiences as depicted in film (and not documentaries, either--keep it fictional).

Why women's speeches in the movies? Every time I see a blog post about great speeches in film, guess what? They're all speeches by men--meaning that the movies sometimes do reflect real life.

I've got two examples to get you started. Leave your suggestions in the comments (and if there's video you can find, share a link, please). Help me find and share a great list of women's speeches in film!

Samantha's speech at the breast cancer benefit, from Sex and the City.  What's great about this speech? It's awful, to begin with: Trite phrases, no personal story from the speaker, generalizations abounding. She's perspiring visibly from the hot flashes, a result of her treatment. She looks awful. When she finally acknowledges what everyone can see, she pulls off her wig for relief....a genuine gesture that helps her make a direct connection with other breast cancer survivors in the audience. Watch what they do next--it makes for a rousing and inspiring ending.

Then there's a speech against all auditory odds: Sally Field, in her Oscar-winning role as Norma Rae, yelling her message to coworkers in the ear-splitting noise of the factory floor. She realizes she's not getting her message across, writes the word "UNION" on a piece of cardboard and stands on a machine table to make a silent, one-word speech that's the iconic moment from this movie:

Come on, film buffs: share your suggestions in the comments!

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