October 6, 2021

Public Speaking Podcasts: Checking out ‘It Was Said’

Public Speaking , Resources , Seen|Read|Heard , Significant Speeches

Above, Billie Jean King with Bobby Riggs in 1973. The podcast 'It Was Said' interviews King about how the pressure of being in the spotlight and how she found her voice and the confidence to speak out for equality for women in sports.


What are some podcasts about public speaking? We're always looking for recommendations from our students and seeking out new podcasts to share. Inspired by the recent release of season two, we've started working out way through It Was Said

It Was Said launched last year with a look at 10 speeches and the stories around them, including Ronald Reagan's farewell speech, Robert Kennedy's eulogy of Martin Luther King Jr., and Barbara Jordan's keynote at the Democratic National Convention in 1976. Those podcasts are hosted by historian Jon Meacham.

President Obama delivering the eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney in Charleston on June 26, 2015, one of the speeches included in 'It Was Said.' (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

We like that season one includes speeches from recent history—President Obama speaking in Charleston after the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church and Hillary Clinton's speech on women's rights are two examples.

We listened to the full episode about Meghan McCain and her eulogy for her father, John McCain. Her father had instructed her to "give them hell." It was fascinating to hear an interview with her about her worries and her goals for that eulogy intercut with the eulogy being delivered.

Billie Jean King speaking at an event in 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Season two is just out, with a focus on sports figures. So far we've listened to the podcast about Billy Jean King. We love that the series is looking at speeches outside of the political realm, but the episode itself didn't include much about King's speeches or give you a lot of opportunity to hear her speak. It was more of a narrated biography.

Despite wanting to hear more speeches delivered by one of our favorite tennis players in that last podcast, we'll keep listening. We always find it instructive to hear how people find their voices, learn about their worries going into a speech, and find out how they feel their speeches were perceived in the moment versus how we think of those speeches now. 

You can find the entire first season here, as well as links to listen to both seasons on your favorite app.

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