🎤 Teen sensation: This 17 year old's speech went viral in the House of Commons

Ft. Izzy Garbutt MYP

There aren’t many speeches that go viral in the House of Commons, but Izzy Garbutt’s did. The twist? She was just 17 years old.

At the heart of her success was an important principle…

Who are you speaking for?

Most people speak…

  1. At their audience (feels like a lecture 🥱),

  2. To their audience (feels like a keynote 🤓),* or

  3. For themselves (feels like a sales pitch at best, an ego trip at worst 🙄)

Izzy spoke for everyone who felt like they’d been failed by the education system.

Advocacy is an important (and all too often forgotten) part of thought leadership and when you speak on behalf of a group, you are not only elevating the profile of your ideas, you’re increasing your chances of getting your message heard.

People share things they resonate with.

735k views on her TikTok account. 1.6 million on someone else’s. It went viral on LinkedIn. It sparked a debate between educationalists and political advisors on Twitter and it’s been cited in books and blogs and articles ever since.

Watch her 2 minute, 18 second speech and you’ll see why… enjoy 🍿.

Three rhetorical techniques that made Izzy’s speech so powerful:

  1. Bookending 🔄
    Starting and ending your talk with the same idea or story helps to reinforce your message.

Beginning: ‘I can recite the quadratic formula…’

Closing: ‘Go on Madame Deputy Speaker, ask me, and I'll tell you all about the quadratic formula.’

  1. Personal Testimony ❤️‍🔥

    Strengthens the sense of connection between audience, speaker and message.

'That flash card was stuck on my wall for three months in the lead up to my GCSE's'

  1. Anaphora 💬
    The repetition of a word or a phrase at the beginning of a sentence.

'We are not... a percentage of A* to C's

We are not... evidence in an Ofsted report

We are not... a pass or a fail.'

The bottom line?

When you know what you stand for, you know who you stand for

So… if you were going to give a talk on behalf of a group of people, who would they be and why? What would you say? What shift would you like to create?

Advocacy is powerful.

The best bit? You don’t need to wait for an opportunity to speak in the house of commons to do it. Write a LinkedIn post (like this one), or better yet video one!

Alex

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