When William Wilberforce, a member of the British Parliament, converted to Christianity, he began to earnestly seek to reform the evils he found within himself and the world around him. One of the glaring moral issues of the day was slavery, and after reading up on the subject and meeting with anti-slavery activists, Wilberforce became convinced that God was calling him to be an abolitionist. Wilberforce decided to concentrate on ending the slave trade rather than slavery itself, reasoning that the abolition of one would logically lead to the demise of the other. On May 12, 1789, Wilberforce made his first speech on the abolition of the slave trade before the House of Commons. He passionately made his case for why the trade was reprehensible and needed to cease. Wilberforce introduced a bill to abolish the trade, but it failed, a result he would become quite familiar with in the ensuing years. Yet Wilberforce never gave up, reintroducing the bill year after year, and the Slave Trade Act was finally passed in 1807.
Everyone has the need to express themselves in some form or another, whether artistically, verbally or through writing. However, while there are various ways of communicating thoughts and ideas, the most important method is most definitely through verbal communication. The problem is that many people find verbal communication, especially when it comes to speeches, very disconcerting. This is even more true when it comes to a persuasive speech. Giving a speech is difficult enough, but combine that with a speech that hinges on convincing an audience to see a certain point of view or to be more receptive to a specific idea and it’s easy to understand why the thought of making a speech is terrifying to some people.