Introduction to Speaking to Advocate and Activate

George the Poet, a London-born spoken-word performer of Ugandan heritage, reminds us that “Everything you know is a story. An idea that you’ve accepted. Until you cross it out, and replace it with a better answer.”[1]

Public speech, whether in person, on social media, or in a podcast, is a chance to tell your story. This story, in turn, becomes part of your listeners’ stories. It might reinforce ideas they’ve accepted or contradict the stories they’ve told themselves. It may even provide answers to questions they’ve been asking themselves, or didn’t even know to ask.

By bringing new stories, ideas, and solutions to light, public speaking can be a powerful tool for advocacy and activism. Whenever you speak publicly, you are advocating for a certain position. In many cases, you are also trying to activate your audience—encouraging your listeners to change their thinking or behavior in some way, or rally around a common cause.

  1. George Mpanga (Producer). 01 Sep 2019 Have You Heard George's Podcast? [Audio Podcast], retrieved from