Last week Emma Watson (well-known actress for her role in Harry Potter movies) delivered a powerful and moving speech at the United Nations, inviting men to join in the fight for gender equality. 

The Huffington Post mentions that in her role as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, she spoke about how impossible it is to achieve equality of the sexes if only one sex participates in the fight.  It quotes, “I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.

What can we as Toastmasters learn from Emma Watson’s speech?

Her speech actually meets several of the objectives that we Toastmasters give ourselves when preparing speeches based on the Competent Communication manual.  Here are just a few examples:

Some objectives from Project 10: Inspire Your Audience

  • To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.

Some objectives from Project 9: Persuade with Power

  • Persuade listeners to adopt your viewpoint or ideas or to take some action.
  • Appealing to the audience’s interests.
  • Use logic and emotion to support your position.?

Some objectives from Project 7: Research Your Topic

  • Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples, and illustrations gathered through research.

Some objectives from Project 6: Vocal Variety

  • Use pauses to enhance your message.

Some objectives from Project 2. Organize Your Speech

  • Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech.
  • Create a strong opening and conclusion

We particularly enjoyed hearing her own personal anecdotes, for example her experience when she was 8 years old, being told she was “bossy” because she wanted to direct the plays that they would put on for their parents. Personal stories such as these help to reach out more effectively to the audience.

Next time you come across an interesting speech, try to think of what it is that made the speech so effective. This can help you more effectively learn how to apply similar techniques that we learn at Toastmasters for your own speeches.


Interested in knowing more about how Toastmasters in Montreal can help you communicate more effectively in public and become a more effective leader?  Feel free to come visit us.