By: Nancy Duarte
This past Saturday, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson—best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films—delivered an impassioned introduction to the HeForShe campaign at the UN Headquarters in New York. Since then, Watson’s speech has received heavy circulation on social media and been hailed by the press as “powerful,” “game-changing.”
I couldn’t agree more. Watching Watson use her star power as a vehicle to promote global gender equality reminded me that each of has an opportunity and responsibility to stand up for the causes we believe in, whatever those may be. By following a few basic communication guidelines, Watson showed us how to do it effectively.
She knew her audience. Watson made clear from the very beginning that her speech was intended for the men and boys who could become advocates for change. She appealed not just to their sense of right and wrong, but also to the impacts of gender inequality on men’s lives as they suffer the consequences of “being imprisoned by gender stereotypes.” She explicitly invited them to “step forward” and become part of the solution.
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