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Stella Young’s Speech: “I Am Not Your Inspiration”

Do we not all expect motivation from a disabled person if at all he or she stepped on a platform? Stella Young answers this question in her speech, “I am not your inspiration, thank you very much.” She gives detailed information on the topic of handicap people as a source of inspiration from her point of view, which captures the audience amazingly. She is capable of ensuring they are on the same page, while relating with the occurrences they have both experienced and the different ways they have been affected. This essay analyses Stella Young’s speech, her capability to deliver it effectively, and the expected reactions from her audience.

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Stella Young begins her speech by telling a story of an experience she had when she was fifteen years old, an incident that largely contributes to her speech. At fifteen, her parents were approached by a member of the community with an aim of nominating Stella for an achievement award. From this story, the audience can see why Stella gives this speech and why she is a suitable candidate for it. She goes on to explain that she had no achievements at that time. She was a normal school girl who did regular activities as others of her age. There was nothing she did, out of the ordinary, which deserved a reward. She explains that disability is not a source of inspiration, it is normal and should not be considered unusual. From her introduction, it is evident that she is conversant with the topic out of experience.

In as much as she seems to have high self-esteem, she is opposed to the way normal people view the disabled. She addresses the concept of motivation from disability and defines it as inspirational porn. According to her, people living with disabilities are capable of doing the things they do out of their capacity. It is a sort of adaptation as it is for any other human being. For this reason, it is wrong for ‘the rest of the world’ to use images of disabled people comfortable with their conditions, as inspiration for their daily life. In her reality, the speaker feels objectified by everyone else even though they mean to honor their abilities.

Stella Young uses examples that have been seen by many people who use social media. In a generation where social media is common, it is expected that her audience is familiar with the images she uses. These photos together with her elaborate presentation cut across cultures and gives it diversification. She also tells the stories of the experiences she has had that the audience can relate to. While teaching at a Melbourne school, a student asked her when she would start working on her motivational speech. This incident showed her a reality, that most people always expect inspiration from disabled individuals. From that experience, she mentioned that she acknowledged that people come from different backgrounds, and have been raised knowing that they were somehow privileged having no disabilities.

From the beginning, the speaker captured the audience attention through a true life story. She continues and tells jokes, asks rhetorical questions, and gives examples of the real life situations that the audience is conversant with. Her humor is perceivable as the people burst into laughter each time she introduces her comic reliefs. At the end of the speech, she summarizes by listing the major points she intended to make clear. This way, she ensures that her audience has something to comprehend, and look into, thus, making sure her goal for this speech is reached. Young is audible throughout her presentation, and this makes her delivery very effective. However, her obvious bias against the normal people, those living without disability made her presentation a bit ineffective.

The speaker uses a lot of facial expressions to show her disappointments, humor, and timely pauses whenever she mentions a major point. She also uses the images of children with quotes to explain what she means by inspirational porn. Stella maintained eye contact with the audience, a vital aspect of a presentation. In that context, her nonverbal cues were effective and appropriately used. Being on a wheelchair, she could not have a proper stage management, and being in one position throughout the presentation was ineffective as she could not move on stage and connect with a number of people in her audience.

Stella Young used personal experience and scientific evidence (the photos) as her sources of information. These findings support her hypothesis, topic and intended goal for the issues she addresses. She gives reasonable explanations ensuring that the audience understand her intentions. In addition to her sources, she could use testimonials to expound on her topic. These are the stories of other people that relate to hers. This would provide the audience with additional information to relate to support her concerns.

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The speaker consistently refers to a disabled person’s point of view, not considering the perspective of those who are not handicapped. She satirically regards their concern and defines these genuine compliments as hilarious. As much as she understands why inspiration is derived from disability or why non-disabled people think it is complementary, she fails to take their perception into consideration. To sum up, Stella Young delivered her informative speech effectively. Throughout her speech she maintained positive and fruitful interaction with the listeners. She finishes her speech powerfully saying, “Disability does not make you exceptional, but questioning what you think about it does.” It should, therefore, be noted that not everyone who is handicap wants to be viewed as a source of hope.

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