Much has been said in the past week of Emma Watson’s speech at the UN, concerning gender equality. I thought it might be interesting to post the speech here and say a few things about it from a communication standpoint.
Firstly, Watson was obviously nervous, something we all are familiar with when giving presentations; and this may well be the biggest presentation she ever gives. She handled her nerves well though, and allowed her audience to see past this because she was passionate about her subject and used that passion when conveying her message.
Secondly, criticism levelled at this speech was that it was simplistic. It certainly wasn’t an academic piece, and it didn’t bring anything new to the debate, except the potential audience. Taylor Swift, quoted in Vanity Fair, puts it best:
“I wish when I was younger, I wish when I was 12-years-old I had been able to watch a video of my favorite actress explaining in such an intellectual, beautiful, poignant way the definition of feminism. Because I would have understood it. And then earlier on in my life I would have proudly claimed I was a feminist because I would have understood what the word means.”
The power of Emma Watson’s speech was in the straight forward nature of her delivery, coupled with her celebrity. The audience wasn’t the UN, but young fans who needed a simple message that assumed no prior knowledge. She really succeeded in a way few others could have. Check the video out.
The Vanity Fair Article: