Saturday 22 November 2014

Article vs Speech: Part 2

Actress Emma Watson
Women in India, China and Eastern Europe sell their hair to escape hunger and poverty and to pay for a better education for their children. Photo: Getty Images.

To help you to appreciate the stylistic difference between writing an article and writing a speech, I have used the same topic, same structure and same ideas but I have transformed it into a speech.

Your task is to SPOT THE DIFFERENCES between them (we've identified 8 in total)

Speech on Personal Freedom

Hi everyone. You're very welcome to the Docklands Theatre for this lecture series and can I just say, I really appreciate the effort you've all made to be here. The bad weather probably had you jumping over muddy puddles outside, but you're here now, so relax, kick your shoes off if they're wet, switch off your phone and we'll begin

For those of you I haven't met before, my name is Mary Murphy and if you're tweeting this event I go by the not very cryptic twitter handle @marymurphyindo.

I'm a journalist with the Irish Independent and a human rights campaigner and I've spent the last seven years of my life studying the way our freedom in the Western World limits the freedom of people in the Developing World.

We live in an era of unprecedented individual freedom. If you're unhappy with your parents, you can divorce them.

If you (point to someone in the front row) are unhappy with your gender (pause for laughter) – and I'm not suggesting you are, cause you look pretty good as a guy to me – but if you were, you could just pop into a hospital and sort that out. Boom! You go from Phillip to Philomena in a heartbeat.

But what bugs me about all of this is the assumption that unlimited personal freedom is a good thing for society. That we're all better off because we can do what we want. I don't buy that personally.

I think we're too eager to glorify people's right to choose and we're far, far too willing to ignore the reality that people's choices are often limited & foolish and self-destructive.

While I might like the notion that I'm free to do whatever I want, the truth is that my freedom is guaranteed because I've had a good education and I live in a rich country.

One idea in particular that fascinates me is the statement you often hear people saying when they're getting a body piercing or dying their hair purple: "It's my body and I should be allowed to do what I want with it".

And I know that can sometimes be a good thing. I can shave my hair off for charity. I can donate a kidney to a family member. I can even be a surrogate for my sister if she's having trouble getting pregnant, and I'll definitely help out my gay brother and his partner if they want kids because no matter how hard they try, they are not gonna get pregnant.

The sad truth is, though, that lots of people shave their hair off and donate kidneys and act as surrogates for one very simple reason, and that reason is money.

How many of you know that hair these days is big business? I've got long brown hair (grab ponytail and wave it at audience) so I can sell my ponytail for about €100.

Seriously though, let's talk about the real price of hair. The hair extensions industry in Ireland alone is worth about €2.5 million and the vast majority of this hair is imported.

Women in India, China and Eastern Europe sell their hair to escape hunger and poverty and to pay for a better education for their children.

This isn't about personal freedom, this is about lack of options, lack of money and lack of social structures.

Irish Independent Supplement

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