I was moved last week in watching Emma Watson, of Harry Potter fame, give what has been called by the press and media as a “game changing” and “powerful” speech.
Emma Watson was addressing the UN at their HQ in New York as an introduction to the HeForShe campaign. She has recently taken up the role as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and was inviting the male members of her audience to make a stand, along with the women, for gender equality.
Emma indeed made an effective and impassioned plea for change that was undoubtedly heartfelt and deeply considered. So what qualities was she evidencing in her speaking that evoked such a glowing response from the ordinarily critical media machine?
I believe that she was courageous in making a stand for what is still, in our ‘progressive’ 21st century culture, a significant issue for many women the world over. Emma also highlighted how the issue adversely affects men on a number of levels.
She was relatable, using well-chosen examples from her own life and allowing some vulnerability and transparency. Although, at times, her voice trembled, this in no way detracted from her message or ability to connect with her audience.
Emma was well-prepared and practised – she knew her speech inside out and did not falter. Her chosen facts entirely supported her cause.
Finally, I want to highlight the point that she had a cause. There is nothing else so empowering and provoking to challenge us to step out of our comfort zones, as having something to speak up for!
She spoke from her heart.