This is a prompt for a speech contest that I decided to participate in. I won 2nd place with this speech! 🙂
My mother always told me something when I was younger. Words aren’t just for sassing your mother. “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.“ That quote actually came from Maya Angelou. Although Angelou was born long before my mother, my mother always said she admired Angelou. She said she loved Angelou’s confidence and perseverance; that her voice enticed her, had the power to persuade her to do almost anything she wanted. Maya Angelou’s voice is not a typical one. It is deep, croaky, and full of power and meaning. After my mother told me about her love for Angelou’s voice in poetry, I started to look her up myself. I instantly fell in love with Angelou’s charismatic and influential voice. The words that Angelou said with all her heart and passion truly touched me and compelled me to have a different outlook on life. That’s what a voice can do.
You see, your voice has all of this power buried deep inside. Words are just ink printed on processed pieces of trees. How can something like that touch you right here where it counts? You need heart. You need soul. You need emotion behind every single word you utter or else you’re never going to make another person’s heart waver. “I HAD A DREAM”. That one phrase was recognized by every single person in this room. Why? Sure, Martin Luther King Jr. was wise and had a way with words, but had his performance of his speech begun with “I had a dream” (weak) he would not have touched all the hearts of the nation; He would not have sparked a feeling of love and pride in his fellow Negroes. He would not have shaken and provoked the guiltiness of the white men. With those mere 4 words that he spoke, he caused a stir in the entire country and made history. That’s what a voice can do.
Right now, especially, is when students try to find their real identities. They feel like they just blend in with the background. But a voice. A voice is like a fingerprint. It’s unique to you and only you. You were born with this power and beauty all in one. So use it. Work it. My voice can express every single emotion that I keep inside. I love you (lovingly). I LOVE YOU (angry). I love you (sobbing). Those same three words were just expressed in 3 different ways. Imagine how boring a world with the same “I love you”’s would be. Your voice brings color, personality, emotion, strength, weakness, and passion into just a few words. That’s what a voice can do.
I love my voice. I treasure it. I use it to its fullest because I feel blessed to have such a power buried inside my throat. In today’s world, a voice can be transformed into beatboxing, animal sounds, singing, shouting, crying, laughing, and so much more. It’s the instrument of your soul and body that can trump any other musical instruments out there. It represents you as a person and expresses your emotions outwardly to relieve not only yourself but to the person you are speaking to. A voice is magical. A voice is natural; It can’t be changed by plastic surgery. A voice is you. That’s what a voice can do.