9 Meghan Markle Speeches That Inspire Me to Be a Better Public Speaker and Person
Meghan Markle has inspired me in a lot of ways over the past few years (I wear slim turtlenecks now!), but none bigger than with her sincere, powerful, and eloquent public-speaking style. On International Women's Day this year, Meghan spoke on a panel of high-profile activists, addressing everything from her feminist ideals and history of philanthropy to the importance of education equality for young women and girls. But Meghan's silver tongue caught my attention long before she joined the royal family, back when she delivered a speech at the UN Women conference in 2015.
"This is how I want others to see me," I thought, knowing perfectly well that poised, well-spoken, and warm are probably the last words anyone would use to describe me.
She was so poised, so well-spoken, and so warm in both the tone of her voice and her overall delivery that I couldn't stop making mental notes for myself. "This is how I want others to see me," I thought, knowing perfectly well that poised, well-spoken, and warm are probably the last words anyone would use to describe me. While I've always been generally comfortable speaking in front of people, I still get nervous, which can sometimes result in me talking too fast, rambling, or forgetting to breathe. I've been lucky enough to take on more professional opportunities that require me to speak in front of a crowd or on camera and have tried to channel Meghan's grace and relatability in those endeavors. The more I've watched Meghan behind a podium or on stage with mic in hand, the more I realize how much I want to be someone who can speak slowly, make eye contact, and articulate succinctly — while also not being afraid to assert my views and say things that might make people feel uncomfortable.
Now that she's the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan's public speaking engagements are more frequent and even more motivating. With each new speech, I take note of her diction (she enunciates so clearly!), her body language (always standing or sitting up straight, with shoulders back), and her mannerisms (like me, Meghan talks with her hands, which I love). Whether she's sitting on a Royal Foundation panel with her in-laws, speaking to university students about the power of education, or just meeting with elderly well-wishers, she listens politely and intently while maintaining eye contact and doesn't interrupt or steamroll the conversation. Ahead are the Meghan Markle speeches that have most inspired me to become a better public speaker — and better person.
UN Women Conference, 2015
The speech that started it all. I instantly admired how clearly she enunciates and the kind, genuine, and hopeful tone of her voice.
One Young World Summit, 2014
Meghan's liberal use of adjectives like "humbling," "tremendous," and "incredible" reminds me not to limit my vocabulary (while still throwing in a little slang).
The Royal Foundation Forum, 2018
This speech marked Meghan's first official outing with her now in-laws, Kate Middleton and Prince William. I love that she keeps her hands clasped in her lap, nods, and makes eye contact with the person speaking. She doesn't weigh in with her own thoughts until she's asked (which is something I'm eternally working on).
Together: Our Community Cookbook Launch, 2018
Meghan's first official speech as a royal family member was pretty special. She was launching her first big project, Together: Our Community Cookbook, which features recipes from members of the community in West London that came together following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.
Prince Harry, along with Meghan's mom, Doria Ragland, were front and center and looking so proud of her as she spoke to the crowd. I especially admire how composed she stayed despite the strong winds blowing outside the tent.
Invictus Games, 2018
Not long after announcing her pregnancy, Meghan hit the stage at the Invictus Games in Sydney. She gave an inspiring speech about her support for Harry, and praised the "Invictus spirit" at the heart of the annual event. She was confident, humorous, and had a great message about how "immeasurable" it is to have the strength and support of others when in the process of healing from injury and trauma.
University of the South Pacific in Fiji, 2018
Meghan's passion for education quality came through during her first-ever royal-tour speech in Fiji. She addressed a roomful of students and university staff, confidently and clearly explaining how vital it is that young women and girls — especially those in developing countries — are given the opportunities and support to get a quality education. Needless to say, I was blown away (and the crowd in Fiji was, too).
New Zealand Government House, 2018
OK, this might be one of my favorites so far. Meghan really impressed me with her natural poise while celebrating the impact of women's suffrage and feminism during this speech in New Zealand. It was the first time that I realized how much I love when she starts with a smiley, "Good evening."
International Women's Day Panel, 2019
Meghan's most recent speaking engagement, at a panel discussion about women's issues, is another great example of how engaging she is, even while addressing serious topics like education, global feminism, and gender parity. She answers questions boldly and unapologetically, and her dedication to the cause is crystal clear.
Smart Works Collection Launch, 2019
At the launch event for her Smart Works collection in Sept. 2019, Meghan championed the benefits of donating clothing to women in need and made salient points about the difference between charity and community. Not the wind nor the blaring sirens could ruffle her; she even brought her Hollywood on-set lingo to the event, asking, "Should I hold for sound?"
Also: she had no notes!