5 of the most powerful speeches of 2018

Making a speech is one of the oldest ways of getting your message across, but with the catalyst of social media, words can reverberate much further than just the live audience.

In case you missed them, here are 5 of the most moving speeches made in 2018 that, quite literally, lit up the internet

  1. Emma Gonzalez – Survivor of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, Emma Gonzalez delivered a devastating speech at the ‘March For Our Lives’ rally in Washington DC in March. Standing in silence for as long as it took for the shooter to kill 17 of her peers, it’s difficult to have anything but the utmost respect for her composure, as the tears roll quietly down her cheeks.
  2. Natalie Portman – Many, many brilliant speeches have been made in the wake of the Time’s Up movement, but a special mention has to be made for Natalie Portman’s blistering condemnation of Harvey Weinstein. She blew the roof off the ‘Power of Women’ event by tackling the subject of gender parity within her own industry with extraordinary eloquence. 
  3. Oprah Winfrey – Upon receiving the Cecil B. de Mille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes, Oprah made a speech that would have Twitter users around the world calling for a presidential campaign run in 2020. As a woman who has changed the landscape of Hollywood for women of colour, her speech could have been a moment of self-reflection on an extraordinary career, but instead she created an unforgettable rallying cry for young girls. 
  4. Greta Thunberg – 15 year old climate activist Greta Thunberg might be softly spoken, but her message is fearless. “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is”, she says to global leaders gathered at the UN COP24 Conference.
    As we become more and more aware of the impact our civilisation has had on our planet, her words are a sombre reminder that age, power, and wealth are meaningless if you cannot take responsibilty and inspire positive change. 

  5. Hannah Gadsby – Although not strictly a speech, Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix special, ‘Nanette’, was an unexpected hit that touched the hearts of many for its searing honesty and emotionally charged rhetoric. Upending what viewers expected from a ‘comedy special’, she tells her story so closely, so personally, that we can do nothing but confront the uncomfortable truths she holds up for us to see. It is an extraordinarily brave piece of public expression.