Speechwriting 101 with Zaneta Mascarenhas

Our next brilliant parliamentarian from the Class of 22 is Zaneta Mascarenhas, the Member for Swan. 

Zaneta is the first person of Indian descent ever to be elected to the House of Representatives (how has it taken this long!?) and the first woman to hold the seat of Swan in its 101-year history.

She’s broken more records than Cathy Freeman.

And that’s where Zaneta’s speech leads the way…in metaphor.

Zaneta’s speech is focused largely on climate change and the incredible impacts it’s having on the land. In the speech snippet, she uses an incredible metaphor to talk about the human impact of climate change and our ‘unnatural disasters’.

“I know that Australian people step up in disasters. We support each other. We show resilience. But, just like an elastic band, we should not stretch them to breaking point.”

Simple and effective.

To do this in your own speeches:

  • When your point is important, you might like to use a sensible and relatable metaphor to emphasise it. The rubber band stretching metaphor here is perfect because we all know what elastic is like when it’s been stretched too many times. 
  • Make sure most of the people in your audience understand the metaphor you’re intending to use. If there’s any doubt about whether it’s going to be understood, ditch it. You don’t want your audience spending their time trying to figure out what you’re on about while you’ve moved on. Market test it first if you have to. 
  • Caution: overusing metaphors will make you less popular than a turd in a swimming pool. See what I did there. 😉

Give it a try for yourself and let me know how you go.

If you need more help, download my free guide to writing ovation-worthy speeches here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Blog Posts