The Well-Spoken Women of 2015


Here are standout media and public speaking performances from the Well-Spoken Women of 2015.  These role models will make you LOL, misty-eyed, and shout:  “Amen, sister!”


ballerinaMisty Copeland – Principal Ballerina

At 13 years, Misty was told she was too old, her feet were wrong, body too heavy and she was living in a motel with mom and five siblings.

Today she is the first African-American promoted to the top job at the American Ballet Theatre. On The Diane Rehm Show, Misty pulls back the curtain on her ballet journey.

melindaMelinda Gates – A Big Bettor

A  Forbes cover story declared that investing in women and girls is “the best idea in the world” to end global poverty.

At The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Power Women event, Melinda said from what she’s witnessed in Africa “progress is so possible.”


Dr. Dee Boersma – Penguin Expert

2016 Indianapolis Prize for conservation nominee, Dee has devoted her life to studying Magellanic Penguins: “Once you fall in love with them it’s hard to leave them.”

These sentinels of the ocean help us understand the impacts of climate change and overfishing. Travel with Dee to the Galapagos Islands.


Jessica Mendoza – Baseball Analyst

Hell didn’t freeze over when two-time softball Olympian Jessica Mendoza entered the record books as the first woman to call a Major League Baseball playoff game.  In fact, Jessica’s performance “drew rave reviews.”

Catch her baseball acumen from the ESPN booth.


Laura Bates – Everyday Sexism Project

The Women’s Media Center honored Laura for her digital media project that shares everyday instances of sexism from women and girls ages 7 to 74.

In her Tedx Talk, Laura shares how she is making a fuss to stop the abuse.



singhLilly Singh – YouTube Superwoman

“I know what it feels like not to laugh, I want to make people laugh.”  With over six million followers and a billion views, this millennial comedienne is succeeding.

In a MAKERS interview, Lilly says channeling her creativity into videos helps her cope with depression.


reeseReese Witherspoon – Producer & Actress

When Hollywood studio heads ignored her question about the paucity of complex women roles, Reese decided to follow her mom’s advice:  “If you want something done, honey, do it yourself.”

The result was Gone Girl and Wild the first films from her own production company. At the Glamour Women of the Year gala Reese exhorted the audience to be “a bit more ambitious.”

katemcKate McKinnon – AKA Angela Merkel

SNL star Kate hilariously channeled Angela Merkel’s reaction to being named TIME’s Person of the Year.

The impersonation of the German chancellor has been described as ” unhinged mania .” Kate’s Hillary is pretty good, too.



Hillary Clinton – Debate Crusher

At the last GOP debate there were nine candidates. That’s more than twice the total number of women who have ever participated in a presidential debate.

Hillary’s performances provide a master class on commanding the stage while handling bro-viators. Here’s how to ace a debate.

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The Case for Diverse Leadership

The Case for Diverse Leadership

One of the most powerful women on Wall Street makes a compelling case for gender diversity.  In this Knowledge at Wharton conversation, Sallie Krawcheck offers frank and humorous advice on how to negotiate and network your way to the top.  The former head of Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch is the owner and chair of Elevate Network a network dedicated to the economic engagement of women worldwide.

Watch the Video:

The Business Case for Diverse Leadership

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The Best Career Advice You Never Got

The Best Career Advice You Never Got

The CEO of Leading Women answers the question:  “Why am I getting passed over?” Susan Colantuono discusses a leadership trait that you and many women may be missing.  To close the gender gap at the top, Susan’s research shows women need to beef up their business, strategic, and financial acumen.  It’s key for women to be able to articulate that they understand where their organization is headed and that they fit into the strategy to get there.  Your ability to speak clearly about strategy will help you rise in the ranks.

Watch the video

Susan Colantuono: The career advice you probably didn’t get

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Impassioned Plea for Women’s Rights

Impassioned Plea for Women’s Rights

“We must change attitudes around the world.”

Watch Angelina Jolie Pitt at the Women in the World Summit deliver an impassioned plea for women in war torn regions.  Angelina pledges her personal support to the women and girls in Iraq and Syria facing horrifying violence.   And, calls on the world powers to step up saying crimes against women can no longer be secondary issues.

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Lesson from the Oscars

Make Your 15 Seconds Count

Academy Award acceptance speeches have long been used by Hollywood stars to raise awareness of favored causes.  The much-deserving top actress honorees both seized the opportunity before a worldwide audience.   A comparison of the performances of Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette reveals a sharp contrast in technique.

patricia_arquetteBest supporting actress Patricia Arquette’s passion was palpable but her prose was problematic.  The shout out for women’s equal rights garnered a fist pump from Meryl Streep and wild applause from the glittering crowd.  But, her call to action would have been more effective if she hadn’t been so rushed and jumbled.  See the video clip.

The 60 seconds before the cut off music played should have been enough time to say something but it wasn’t enough to say everything.  Arquette hurriedly thanked colleagues and loved ones.  The list of names on crumpled paper was followed by a plug for an organization that provides ecological sanitation in the developing world. Only then with the clock running out did she call for wage equality and equal rights for women.

The gender empowerment refrain may have appeared to be an afterthought if you hadn’t seen “Boyhood” the film Arquette was nominated for.  She played a divorced mom who was raising two children while trying to pay the bills and put herself through college.  A struggle faced by many real-life parents.

julienne_mooreJulianne Moore’s turn in the spotlight was the performance of someone who has arrived.  While slightly out of breath and with her eyes shining, Moore’s remarks were heartfelt and focused.  With poise she acknowledged her sister nominees and remembered the names of the people she thanked.

The greater part of her brief stage time was used to praise the filmmakers of “Still Alice” for their depiction of a middle-aged wife and mother who realizes she has Alzheimer’s.   Moore said the movie shines a light on the isolation and marginalization of people suffering from the disease. See the video clip.

Moore was able to articulate why so many of us love the movies.  The best films address the everyday struggles, hopes, and fears of ticket buyers.  In 2014, Hollywood brought the themes of crippling disease, racism, and sexuality identity to the big screen.  Moore spoke to the power of the movies to help us feel seen and connected.


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Public Speaking Resolutions For a Well-Spoken Year!

Public Speaking Resolutions For a Well-Spoken Year!

1. Ring in 2015 with a toast. It’s good practice.

2. Create your elevator speech. In 2 minutes, what do you care about & why does it matter?

3. Quote the greats: “The American dream is not dead. It is gasping for breath but it is not dead.” Barbara Jordan

4. Warm up beforehand. Slowly roll your shoulders back to release tension.

5. Use purposeful pauses. A moment of silence gives the listeners a chance to absorb the meaning.

6. Avoid repeating useless words: “Like, so, anyway, actually, and absolutely.”

7. Heed Ann Richards: “I spent hours of time rehearsing… It had to sound casual, conversational, but that took work.”

8. Don’t sweat the small stuff like a mispronounced word. It is possible to make a mistake and still do well.

9. Project your best self. As Lena Dunham says: “Enjoy going through life as yourself.”

10. Give yourself a high five when you deliver a winning performance.

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The Well-Spoken Women of 2014

The Well-Spoken Women of 2014

The Well-Spoken Women of 2014 called it like they saw it. Dared to defy authority. Changed the debate. Broadened the dialogue. Their words and ideas challenge us to think differently and act boldly.

Mo’ne Davis – Little League Star 


With a 70 mph fastball, 13-year old Mo’ne is in a league of her own. The pitcher made history becoming the first girl to throw a shutout in a Little League World Series. Equally impressive was the deft handling of her celebrity status. On ESPN, an unflappable Mo’ne says her special weapon for dealing with the media is saying no.”

Kaci Hickox – Ebola Fighting Nurse


While the threat of Ebola caused some politicians to panic, the public health nurse presented a voice of reason. At an impromptu press conference, Kaci calmly responded to critics who vilified her for rejecting a state imposed health quarantine. After serving in Sierra Leone, she voluntarily agreed to a self-monitoring program saying it was scientifically sound and wouldn’t stigmatize aid workers. Kaci hopes to return to Africa to continue her public health service.

Sallie Krawcheck – “Investing in Women is Simply Smart Business”


Sallie is a Wall Street veteran who is putting money where her passion is with the first and only mutual fund which invests in companies that are women-centric. Tons of evidence support Sallie’s assertion that companies with more women in top jobs have higher returns, lower volatility, and increased innovation. During a conversation at the 92nd St. Y, Sallie shares her vision for the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund 

Ai-jen Poo – Caring for Our Caregivers


Congratulations to Ai-jen, a 2014 MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient for dedicating her life to fighting for some of the hardest working people in America. At the National Domestic Workers Alliance she fights for the women who clean our homes, cook our meals, and care for our children and seniors. In her TEDx Talk Ai-jen, calls on the audience to reflect on the people in their lives who’ve cared for them.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg – A Blistering Dissent


“I certainly respect the belief of the Hobby Lobby owners. But, on the other hand they have no constitutional right to foist that belief on the hundreds and hundreds of women who work for them and who don’t share that belief.” Justice Ginsberg’s 35-page dissent in the case that denies birth control coverage to women on religious grounds ensured women’s voices were not completely silenced. In a Yahoo interview, the Justice discusses the ramifications of the decision made by five male justices.  

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand – Calling Them Out


Talk about a hostile work environment. In her book “Off the Sidelines,” Senator Gillibrand revealed the clueless comments made by male colleagues about her eating habits and appearance. On “The Daily Show,” the Senator says at this point in her career those types of remarks don’t throw her off her game. However, it was a different story when she was a young lawyer.  

Anita Sarkeesian – Feminist Frequency Blogger


The threat of a shooting massacre on the campus of Utah State University caused the cancelation of a speech Anita planned on the sexism and misogyny in the gaming industry. But, months of death and rape threats have not prevented the blogger from condemning the industry’s penchant for depicting women as damsels, victims, and hyper-sexualized play things. As a youngster, Anita had begged her parents for a Game Boy. On the “Colbert Report,” she says the industry would benefit from including positive female images and creating a wider range of games.

Emma Watson – UN Women Goodwill Ambassador


The “Harry Potter” actress says when she was 8 she was called bossy for wanting to direct plays. Speaking at the United Nations, the self-proclaimed feminist delivers an eloquent call to action to end gender inequality by inviting men to join the HeForShe campaign.

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