Gianna Jessen: born to speak

In 2008, at Queen’s Hall in Parliament House in Melbourne, Australia, an audience was treated to a speech from Gianna Jessen. The day was 8 September, the eve of a debate to decriminalise abortion in the State of Victoria.

Gianna Jessen exists because she confounded a Planned Parenthood abortionist by being born alive.

My having no medical training I cannot confirm whether her suffering from Cerebral Palsy is a legacy of the attempts made to thwart her birth, but I am qualified to declare that the condition doesn’t impede the quality of her speaking in public. Or if it does then heaven knows how well she would have been able to speak otherwise. My word, but she’s good!

And she wastes no time in demonstrating her skill. The timing of her big pauses, the first as early as 1:36, is nano-second perfect, and she is already getting laughs when others would still be battling their hump.

I tell my trainees, and I’ve said it before on this blog, that passion is worth bucketfuls of technique; but the ideal is to have both. Jessen has both, but far more importantly she is prepared to express her passion with vehemence. She has plenty to be passionate about.

Passion, brilliant timing, and laughs: it’s a formula whose result is spellbinding

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