Nobel Prize for Public Speaking
by Pierre Morsa —
It’s the time of year when Nobel Prizes are awarded, and some fantastic people already won the prestigious prize. So we asked ourselves: if there were a Nobel Prize for public speaking, who would win? If you were a judge, who would you choose as an outstanding public speaker? And who would our presentation experts nominate? Discover our team’s nominees.
Pierre: Joe Biden. Yes, technically there are better orators than Joe Biden. But the big difference is: Joe Biden has accomplishments to back his rhetoric. And I’ll always pick a good speaker with substance over a fantastic speaker with empty promises.
Phil: America Ferrara. Actors often make the best public speakers because they work so hard at it, and I was tempted to give my award to former actor Volodymyr Zelenskyy who is a very powerful speaker, and uses a good mix of logic and emotion in his speeches. But if you haven’t yet seen America Ferrara’s wonderful, heart-wrenching speech about the pressures of being a woman, do so. I haven’t seen the Barbie movie in which it appears, but this speech would have been worth the entry price alone. Hat tip to whoever wrote it, but Ferrara nailed this important speech wonderfully.
Joe: Johan Rockström. Being a scientist is a bit different than communicating about science; and Johan Rockström does the latter outstandingly. Through his powerful presentations on the Planetary Boundaries with the Stockholm Resilience Centre, he has brought Earth science to general audiences.
Marine: Simone Veil. A great lady who was not afraid to shake up taboos at a time when it was not as easy as today to do so. Minister of Health (second female minister in a government) for 6 months, survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, we remember her speech to an assembly of more than 97% males in which she defended a law legalizing abortion. A remarkable speech, full of humility and delivered with great solemnity, where each word is consciously prepared to present a sensitive subject. A speech that changed women’s lives in France.
Michael: Former New Zealand prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. At a time where vulnerability and authenticity are lacking in political leadership she was a rare example of a leader who sought unity through considered yet plain speaking courage.