Providing Effective Testimony with a Great Speech

I’m always fascinated to see and learn from great speakers. Abby Johnson testified at a Kentucky State hearing for the Hearbeat Bill, SB9.

What did she do as a speaker that was so compelling the bill received a unanimous vote?

  • Humanized the abortion process
  • Used understandable, active words
  • Made constant eye contact
  • Varied her tone and pace
  • Spoke from experience and knowledge of the people, issues, and process
  • Used “I” often
  • Conveyed personality and confidence
  • Had good speech organization
  • Never dehumanized any of the participants in the situations described
  • Provided clear, easy to follow explanations
  • Explained terms
  • Used clear vocal quality and good volume
  • Used historical examples comparing fetuses and categories of people (American slaves and European Jews) that were dehumanized and mistreated or killed
  • Ended by addressing the opposition with dignity and a call to action


Compare Abby’s speech to the content and style of the two speakers before her.


TFP Student Action. (2019, March 1). Abby Johnson of Movie Unplanned DESTROYS Abortion Arguments at Hearing . Retrieved from


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