World Speech Day
From "I have a dream" to "Ask not what your country can do for you," speeches can inspire and change the world.
Speeches have become some of the most influential opportunities for promoting and advancing change in the world, not only in academia but for the general culture. While speakers certainly have a monumental impact on the way that society is shaped, those who write the speeches may be considered to be just as powerful and impactful.
World Speech Day was created to make way for sharing new ideas, educating others, and providing inspiration as they spur on the movement towards change in the world. World Speech Day is all about reaching out on a global scale, where those who have impacted their communities can tell their stories, share their goals, and inspire others to do great things.
History of World Speech Day
Launched by Simon Gibson in June 2014, World Speech Day is a day that is connected with a non-profit organization (of the same name) that recognizes the power of speeches. Gibson founded this holiday based off of his previous work as a freelance speechwriter, working for companies such as Ford, IBM, BP, Shell, NatWest, Conoco, Toshiba.
Gibson’s work in establishing a free database for contemporary and historical speeches inspired him to create World Speech Day, as it was his dream to help others understand and celebrate the profound impact speeches can have on the world. Because speeches can play such a mighty role in the way that society is shaped, Gibson launched this day to help others reach out and explore new ideas for better solutions.
Each year, over 100 nations participate in World Speech Day, including schools, universities, community groups, cafes, and speakers’ clubs. As an organization, World Speech Day is made up of hundreds of individuals who want to live up to their full potential by inspiring others, particularly through the power of speech.
How to Celebrate World Speech Day
Celebrating such a monumental day is a privilege for people from all walks of life. Whether in academia, the corporate world, politics, or even arts and entertainment, the celebration of World Speech Day is an important event.
Consider these ways to raise awareness and promote an appreciation for the day:
Make or Listen to a Speech
For those who are passionate about an issue and wish to speak out about it, this is an ideal opportunity to do so. Even those who don’t feel that they’re great at speaking should not let that keep them from participating! Instead, use this day as an opportunity to take the time to listen to others who have worked hard for their communities and achieved their goals at making the world a better place.
Research Some Historical Speeches
This would be a great time to go back in history and read up on or listen to some of the most famous public speakers. Look up important, life-changing speeches such as:
- “I Have a Dream” by Baptist minister and American social rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- “Freedom From Fear” by Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese female political activist who was held under house arrest for 15 years
- “I Am Prepared to Die” by South African aparteid fighter and eventual President Nelson Mandela
- “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” by Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War and later
- “Apology” by 5th-century Greek philosopher Socrates
Historical events can provide an important backdrop that leads to a great amount of inspiration for truth and modern application. More than just reading a historical speech, consider trying to memorize one–or at least part of one. (Although Mandela’s speech referenced above was three hours long, so that might not be the one to begin with!)
Get Involved with Toastmasters
An international organization that promotes the improvement of public speaking and communication skills, Toastmasters International hosts over 16,000 clubs throughout the world that help each other practice, learn and grow along the lines of speech making.
Toastmasters also provides educational programs for those interested in pursuing an even more dedicated approach to growing in their ability to make great speeches. This is a great way to get connected with like-minded people who can help spur each other on toward growing in the skill of making speeches.
Spread the Word with Social Media
On this day, social media becomes one of the most powerful tools out there for mustering up voices to speak about the issues that are important to society in modern times. Across platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, people are able to post videos of their own speeches or the speeches of other famous people. This gives many people the chance to be inspired and take action towards finding effective solutions to society’s social and political issues.
World Speech Day is also aided by the interconnectedness of today’s online world, allowing people from all geographies and cultures to share their experiences and reach out on a global scale to learn and work together in a synergistic manner.
Become a World Speech Day Ambassador
For those who want to make the world a better place through speech, consider connecting with the World Speech Day organization and learning how to become an ambassador.
Whether hoping to make a speech or hear a speech, opportunities are available for people of all nations and languages throughout the world. Through the website, it’s easy to contact an adviser, ambassador or event organizer in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, South America, Central America, and North America.
World Speech Day encourages people to host their own local or online events that can connect with groups such as
- Speakers’ Clubs
- Think Tanks
- NGOs and Non-Profit Organizations
- Community Groups
- Private Companies
- and more
One of the best ways to celebrate World Speech Day is by creating a video of your own speech and sharing it on social media using the hashtags #worldspeechday and #unexpectedvoices.