Public Speaking Expert
Apple CEO Tim Cook is known for being a very private person so it came as a great surprise to hear an emotional speech from the industry leader as he received a lifetime achievement award last week.
Tim Cook made the speech after picking up the award from Auburn University and then going on to make his address on equal rights at the United Nations in New York.
The Apple CEO spoke at length about his own personal experiences and about his views on equality with a very moving story about his childhood about when he personally witnesses a burning cross while he was growing up in Alabama.
He said: “Not far from where I lived, I remember very vividly witnessing a cross burning at such a remarkable family. This image was permanently imprinted in my brain, and it would change my life forever.
“For me the cross burning was a symbol of ignorance, of hatred, and a fear of anyone different than the majority. I could never understand it, and I knew then that America’s an Alabama’s history would always be scarred by the hatred that it represented.”
He added: “Since these early days, I have seen and have experienced many types of discrimination and all of them were rooted in the fear of people that were different than the majority.”
By talking about such a personal and private memory Tim Cook was able to engage the entire audience and give authenticity to his calls for equality thanks to his own experiences in the past.
Not only did Tim Cook talk about racism he also touched on equality for the LGBT community and for gay rights.
In his speech he said: “Now is the time to write these basic principles of human dignity into the book of law.
“Do not do them because they are economically sound — although they are — do them because they are right and just.”
Tim Cook used his position as the CEO of one of the worlds largest companies to be able to give a voice to many people who are often not heard and it is not surprising that he was named as the most powerful LGBT person in the world by Out Magazine for 2013.
Often the most powerful of speeches come from people who are not the most likely of speakers and Tim Cook is known for keeping a low profile at most of the time. his speech was made even more effective by drawing on his own personal experiences and relating them to others.