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Why Everyone Should Celebrate World Speech Day 2017

Guest Blog by Anna Newsum, Speakers Trust

Why Everyone Should Celebrate World Speech Day 2017

The only reason to give a speech is to change the world, said John F. Kennedy once. While this seems to add an extraordinary pressure to the already nervous speaker, the task is much more attainable than it appears. Not every voice will have the opportunity to be heard on the world’s stage, but any speech has the capacity to change the world for someone, altering even the smallest condition of the universe; and that is something to celebrate.

The ‘Greatest Speeches in History’ lists always feature the same names, the clear example being Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech which remains as poignant today as it was in 1963. While these speeches will remain defining moments in history, World Speech Day is about recognising speeches of impact on every scale, making its way into classrooms, birthdays and weddings.

Speakers Trust believes that anyone can transform a life though the power of speech. By teaching young people how to deliver a good speech, we give them the tools to articulate their ideas and opinions. Speech delivery has time again proven to give them greater confidence and self-esteem, not only in their ability to stand and speak in front of others, but also in the assertion of their beliefs. Last year, students on our youth public speaking competition felt 55% more confident after delivering a speech. Speakers Trust have seen hundreds of thought-provoking, passionate and effective young speakers who have left their mark on us, their teachers and their peers.

For example, student Anna Gunstone’s speech on the stigmas around mental health entitled ‘A State of Mind’ and Sebetile Mabuza’s speech about the importance of art in young people’s lives, titled ‘The Beating Heart of Living Art, are both unique demonstrations of the importance of World Speech Day. For young people, speech delivery is an outlet through which to develop an identity in addition to learning useful communication skills. It gives them a platform to speak up about issues important to them which could in turn change the world for someone else.

World Speech Day is about shining a light on every voice that has made a difference. The world will never forget the extraordinary voices in history but nor should it underestimate the value of the speeches that will only be heard by a few. From young people in schools and best men at weddings to business moguls and world leaders, the importance of speeches will forever remain critical to our development, well-being and ability to grow.

Join us on March 15th celebrating World Speech Day by sharing your favourite speeches on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Tag us @SpeakersTrust and use the hashtag #unexpectedvoices.

Visit www.worldspeechday.com to find out how you can become more involved with World Speech Day and to watch live streaming of speeches.

Speakers Trust is a public speaking and communication charity, which runs the UK’s largest youth public speaking competition, Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! ( www.speakoutchallenge.com ). Visit www.speakerstrust.org

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