The Power of Speech

Springob, who battled severe depression and anxiety in high school, now travels the country helping other students suffering from the same problems.

By Lindsey Davis, Iowa State University


Not many college students can say that they’re a sought-after motivational speaker, but Amanda Springob has always been somewhat of an exception. After her own battle with depression and anxiety in high school, Springob felt it her duty to shed awareness on the matter, so teenagers like her could feel empowered to speak up about mental health issues.

Since 2014, Springob has shared her story and insights with thousands of junior high, high school and college students at conferences, school assemblies and TEDx UW-Milwaukee, where she shared her speech “Saying the Hard Things: The Power of Speaking Up.”

UW Madison Student Amanda Springob Talks Motivational Speaking

Student Amanda Springob (Photography via Jenna Marti, UW Milwaukee)

“I really spend a lot of time working on speeches and other projects. I guess you could say work is my hobby.”

“My favorite lifestyle blogs are Sea of Shoes and the Gardner Quad Squad. I really like watching old musicals too.”

“To me, empowerment is all about putting forth something so great that other people are inspired to be great too. It could be a political movement, a piece of art, a speech, whatever.”

“I talk about Beyoncé a lot with empowerment, because she’s the first person who really empowered me.”

“What really got me going were her lyrics. Beyoncé has so much conviction and emotion in everything she creates, and that was the thing I really needed to hear at that point in my life.”

“I was very insecure and dealing with depression, and that was first time I felt compelled to speak up about things I believed in.”

“Her power told me I could have power too. That’s something I try to give to others now—the notion that they can do anything they aspire to do.”

“Glennon Doyle Melton’s talk is my all time favorite. She is a recovered addict, bulimic and depressive who has now written two bestselling books and founded a non-profit. She is incredibly well spoken and her story resonates with me no matter how many times I see it.”

“I also love Andrew Solomon’s talks. He is a mental health writer and gives some of the best definitions of different mental disorders that I’ve heard.”

UW Milwaukee Student Amanda Springob Talks Motivational Speaking

Photography via Jenna Marti, UW Milwaukee

“And I love Megan Washington, who is an Australian singer with a speech impediment. Her story is great because despite great odds, she found her voice and uses it to create meaningful work.”

“I think older generations give mental health a bad rap. They believe people are just being dramatic and should ‘get over it.’”

“They look at millennials and call them lazy and overly sensitive. So millennials with mental illness have two separate layers to break through when trying to tell people about their issues.”

“That makes it hard. But I do think millennials are powerful and that their outspokenness is changing the way people view mental health.”

“I’m proud to be a part of that movement, and I hope it’s one that will continue to flourish in the coming generations.”