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Speech of the Week: Baltimore Student Teach For America Passionate Speech


What can I say about this Speech of the Week post besides… Truly Inspiring.

Allow for me to set the scene: a young Baltimore student delivers one of the most passionate, moving and emotionally charged speeches I’ve seen. Elijah Miles gave a speech that came from his heart. He was able to identify something in his own life that turned into a testimony for others.

The important point to take from the speech is that we should all pay it forward and give back. Even if you come from a bad neighborhood and everyone is telling you that you have to leave, you shouldn’t forget where you started. Elijah delivered his speech in a very enduring and novice way that translated into a very relatable story.

From Elijah, we can all learn that we should turn our frustrations into opportunities to make change in the world. I believe that Elijah Miles has begun to make a change with this speech.

What did you think of his speech? 


Brandy and the Lesson She Can Teach Other Brands

brandy-clive-davis-and-the-recording-academy-s-2013-pre-grammy-gala-01It’s no secret that I am a fan of Brandy (and not just because we share birthdays). This past weekend I watched this behind the scenes video of her promoting her album ‘Two Eleven‘ and I was touched by her kindess, realness and general fun attitude. 

She goes out of her way to be accessible to her fans. At most album signing you expect fans to cry, but Brandy was crying more than they were because she was so moved by their support. She is relatable and generous

Besides being interesting to watch the behind the scenes action of this high profile celebrity it is nice to know that she is very down to earth. 

Here are a few lessons that other brands, be it celebrity or businesses can take from Brand Brandy:

  • Make your audience feel like they are being heard.
    • She is active on Twitter and listens to her fans when they talk to her upon meet and greet opportunities. 
  • Give your audience what they want.
    • Brandy sings her heart out on stage, but does her best to take in account what her audience would most like to hear or see from her next.
  • By creating these behind the scenes YouTube videos for free more people will be able to connect with her brand.
    • Most brands would wrap something like this up in a DVD and the public would have to go to the store and purchase it. Instead, Brandy is offering her audience high quality access into her life for free. That has to be appreciated.
    • This shows that she is in it for the love of her craft and her fans aka Starz.

The video is very entertaining and you get to learn about Brandy in a very genuine way. 


Are you a fan of the Brandy Brand?

Lovelace [*Indie Film Alert]

Where do I begin with the film ‘Lovelace‘? First, I watched it on Netflix because it was only in select theatres for a short period of time and I didn’t get a chance to see it. Second, I think it’s rated R, but may be a little more risque than your usual rated R film. Third, it did a great job telling the story of Linda Lovelace. 

Beneath the trailer you will see a summary of the film, so all I will say is that it tells the true story of porn star Linda Lovelace aka Deep Throat. The film stars; Amanda Seyfried (Lovelace), Peter Sarsgard (Chuck – Linda’s husband), Sharon Stone, James Franco, Adam Brody, Cory Hardrict and more.

As I mentioned, the film does a great job telling the story of Linda and what I especially liked is the way the film moved from the past to the present in an evident way. It’s so good that I’m not going to spoil it for those who have yet to watch the movie. I will say that you get to see the good and the bad with a twist.

What I found most shocking about Linda’s story was the amount of time she spent in the porn industry. I thought she was this big star for decades based from what I heard when the film was released, but in reality she only did one film and was technically in the porn industry for a total of 17 days. Yet, her one film grossed more than $600 million dollars, but you will be surprised at how much money she actually made.

The story flows so well, that it never gives you a chance to be bored or get distracted. It does have its sexual scenes, but they are not to overbearing that it takes away from the cinematics of the film.

I began the movie basically knowing nothing about Linda Lovelace, but ended with a sense of respect for how she took control of her life and is now an advocate against the porn industry and domestic violence.

Besides my love for the great story telling, the films thespians deliver a dramatic transparent truth to their characters. It’s hard to imagine that this is a true story, but the thespians deliver it in such a way that makes you remember that the characters they are portraying are in fact real people.

In the end, Linda Lovelace’s story teaches us that regardless of what you’ve done in the past and/or what people may think of you, there is always opportunities to change your life around for the better.

Linda dealt with such a lot in a short period of time. As you watch the film you will be in disbelief of at how badly she is treated including by her husband who reminds me of Ike Turner. She has a very painful past that would have destroyed many, but still finds a way to triumph. 

If you have Netflix, Amazon or a location to rent/buy DVDs I recommend you do it and learn more about Linda Lovelace and her story.

In 1972—before the internet, before the porn explosion—Deep Throat was a phenomenon: the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes, and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda discovered freedom and the high-life when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor. As Linda Lovelace she became an international sensation—less centerfold fantasy than a charming girl-next-door with an impressive capacity for fellatio. Fully inhabiting her new identity, Linda became an enthusiastic spokesperson for sexual freedom and uninhibited hedonism. Six years later she presented another, utterly contradictory, narrative to the world—and herself as the survivor of a far darker story.

Speech of the Week: Drop the Mic

This edition of speech of the week is equally about what is being said as it is about how it is delivered. Dylan Garity, a College National Poetry Slam Champion, delivers a passionate speech about fighting education inequality. 

In his speech, Dylan uses examples from his sister who is an ESL teacher that can’t interact with her students in their native language of Spanish. Instead, they are forced to learn entirely in English. 

I’ll let Dylan take it from here…

Speech of the Week: Oprah’s 2013 Harvard Commencement


Back in 2008 Oprah spoke at the 2008 Stanford Commencement. This past spring she spoke at another Ivy League; Harvard. Like all of her speeches, it was inspiring and motivational. You don’t have to be a college graduate to connect with what she was saying. 

A lot of great speeches have a personal connection to get the audience invested and to let them know that you can relate. Oprah shared experiences from her childhood to her struggles with her tv network OWN. She then was able to intertwine the two with her main talking points.

  1. At some point you’re bound to stumble/fall
    • “Failure is just life trying to move us in a different direction.”
    • Give yourself time to mourn, but learn from every mistake
    • Then you have to figure out the next move
  2. Build a resumé that tells a story of who you want to be
    • Tell about your purpose in life
    • What is your true calling and purpose?
    • Your purpose is not always clear in the beginning
  3. This generation will and should impact change
    • Give back
    • When you learn; teach. When you get; give. 
    • Remember that the common denominator among all of us is that we just want to be validated and understood
      • We ask, “Was that ok?”
  4. There’s a light inside of us
    • Be yourself and not anyone else
  5. Challenges and setbacks will happen
    • Remember that your number one goal is to: “fulfill the highest, most truthful expression of yourself as a human being”
    • Lift others up
    • Listen and be guided by your inner GPS and know that everything will be alright

Oprah recently said that she has been traveling doing more speeches and I personally believe that speaking to others through that medium should be a part of her next chapter.

What did you think of the speech?