Today I had to prepare the speech I will deliver in Harvard on April 2. The first thing you consider is who will be in the audience: Students and also professors. It cannot possibly be a simple "little speech," as it will touch important issues related to health and the possible responsibilities of fashion towards what women think is the right body image: thinness. I focused on this the whole weekend. I spent so many hours studying each and every lecture given on eating habits, anorexia, obesity and so on. I spoke on the phone for hours with several professors, and each one had their own theory.
It's hard to understand and even harder to sum up all the information and also to convey it in a clear manner. You may recall lectures you've attended and have bored you to death, and others you wished they would never stop. Capturing the attention and keeping it alive for a couple of hours is not an easy task. The tone, the concepts and the way you speak are fundamental elements, but also understanding the immediate reaction of the audience through their eyes helps you keep a lively pace, preventing the speed of delivery from slowing down and dying out.
It's a commitment and nothing must be left to chance. You speak and know that each word carries weight and consequences. It's a matter of seriousness, especially in front of a young audience. You may influence or annoy them, but you must in any case keep them interested.
I have focused on the main points, I have developed them and connected them together so that they did not seem like several elements just joined together. A balancing act. I will post the speech on my blog on April 3 and in consideration of the themes addressed, I believe it will cause a string of reactions. But, as I always say, we have to take chances when making choices. Statements carry along reactions -- and this is the good side of communicating in "real time"!
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