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Running Head: Lupita Nyong’o Speech Analysis

Lupita Nyong’o spoke at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in 2014 with goals of empowering women and telling the story of how she became an actress. She used a steady tone throughout her speech, as well as strong eye contact. Nyong’o also articulated her words in a way that would resonate with the audience. Nyong’o has a great amount of experience in public speaking and this can be seen in her speech at the conference.

On December 4, 2014, The Massachusetts Conference for Women was held in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Lupita Nyong’o was selected to be the keynote speaker at this event, and deliver an empowering and motivational speech. Nyong’o who was 31 years old at the time of this conference is a very popular actress. As a Kenyan native, Nyong’o knew she wanted to be an actress since her early childhood years. In her speech, Lupita Nyong’o describes her journey to becoming the actress she is today. Nyong’o delivers a strong speech that can be easily interpreted and understood by a physical and internet audience. Despite everyone not being able to directly relate to Nyong’o it is was very important that she had points the audience could connect with and find a deeper meaning within.

As Nyong’o enters the stage a sound of applause can be heard and various cheers from the audience. Showing great joy, Nyong’o says, “so this is what ten thousand women look like, wow!” (Nyong’o). From this statement, it can be understood that the physical audience is primarily women. This annual conference is open to men and women from different walks of life, however the majority of attendees are in fact women (About). Those who attend this event come from different professions, including finance, business, health care, and much more. The main goal of this event is to empower women in the workplace (About). With that being said, since Nyong’o audience is primarily women, she has the responsibility of empowering women, and giving them something to relate to. Before Nyong’o begins her speech, she dedicates her speech to her sister who is in a similar situation as she was when she was younger (Nyong’o).

Although Lupita Nyong’o is a woman as well, that does not mean everything she says will instantly be relatable or understood by every other woman. Nyong’o had to choose a topic that would be easily related to. The story of how she became the person she is today, and how she got there is not the same as everyone else in the audience. However, the audience can connect with this story, since everyone has their own story of how they became who they are. Also, since the goal of this convention is to empower women, Nyong’o had to be sure that she implemented some kind of motivation or inspiration in her speech. When ending her speech, Nyong’o says “step forward and repeat it all…do not be disappointed in yourself…”, (Nyong’o).

Internet viewers are not able to see the physical audience in this particular video however, since this conference is open to all there are different groups in the physical audience (About). Given that there was a physical audience was able to witness this speech live, and an internet audience that has this speech at the tip of their fingers, it needs to resonate even more. The physical audience may have moments of this speech that resonated with them and were very important to them. When a larger internet audience is watching this speech, they are able to go back and review this speech as long as it is on the internet. With that being said along with the goal of empowering, Nyong’o had to be sure what she was saying made sense and would be somewhat timeless. Some online viewers may watch this speech 10 or 15 times and discover something new each time that truly speaks to them. This is very important when delivering a speech, the speaker wants to talk about things that can be taken away and appreciated. Nyong’o did a very good job at this, she was able to articulate her point in a way that can understood by many. This speech was timeless in the sense that no matter what the year is, it will always be a relevant topic. Many people go through some sort of a journey to be in the profession they are in, or to achieve a goal they have set for themselves.

Since Nyong’o spoke on her journey to success others can continue to watch and take in information and possibly be inspired. When delivering a speech, not only what is being said is important, but how it is being said is important as well. During her speech at the women’s conference, Nyong’o uses plenty of eye contact throughout the course of her speech even though she is reading from a paper. Looking around the room every few seconds, allowing the eye contact to be natural and looking at every part of the room at some point. Along with her eye contact, Nyong’o utilizes her hands throughout her speech. Without doing over exaggerated movements, she uses her hands to add emphasis where needed, which gets her point across and shows an emotional connection to what is being said. Nyong’o keeps good posture during her speech, she stands tall at the podium. Occasionally she will rest her hands on the sides of the podium but she does not slouch down which shows she is confident in what she is saying and actually wants to talk about it. Moving into verbal communication, Nyong’o is a naturally soft spoken person however in this particular speech changes her voice pitch when needed. For example, when she says, “…that at the rate I was going, I would never figure it out…”, (Nyong’o).

When saying this, Nyong’o raises her voice volume to put the correct stress on the statement and also to add emotion. Doing this throughout her speech, helps the audience understand the emotion she has when she is saying these things. Along with changing her voice volume, Nyong’o did a very job of utilizing her tone, for the majority of her speech she was able to keep a tone that was relaxed and not defensive. When she did change her tone, it was to add emphasis on words so they could be interpreted exactly as she wanted them to be. This particular speech that Lupita Nyong’o delivered was an excellent speech and something that could possibly be remember throughout her lifetime and maybe after. However, there was one thing that stood out that could have been improved. For example, there were moments where Nyong’o would stumble over her words from speaking too fast and not pacing herself. If she were to pace herself better, the speech would have been delivered more smoothly. There were moments where Nyong’o would have to stop herself to catch herself and gather her thoughts. Lupita Nyong’o delivered an excellent speech at the Massachusetts Conference for Women, through which she utilizes her nonverbal communications skills, and by giving the audience something to relate to and empowering them. Nyong’o shows strong public speaking skills and was able to deliver her message thoroughly.

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