Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lessons from The King's Speech

As a speech coach, I couldn't wait to see The King's Speech, particularly as I am interested in learning more about how to help people who stutter. What I found was a lesson for all of us:

The King's brilliant speech therapist made clear that there is no substitute for hard work, and he had the King practice countless speech exercises. And yet his ultimate "cure" came from one simple lesson each of us needs to hear:

Speak to your audience as though you were speaking to a close friend.

Not only does this enable the King to overcome his stage fright - and his stutter, but at a critical moment in history - it makes each person in his audience feel personally addressed.

From the Green Room: Remember, there is no such thing as "public speaking." Whether you are speaking to an audience of 1 or 1,000,000, speak as though you are having a conversation with a close friend. There is no better way to calm your nerves - and connect with your audience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You highlight one of the many valuable lessons that can be gleaned from this magnificent film.
I'd only add to your point about talking to the audience as if in conversation with a close friend that it was through his enormously painful and humbling experience with speech therapy that the King could achieve that empathetic connection to his listeners. Speakers would do well not only to imagine the audience as a close friend but also to think hard about the thoughts, feelings, and needs that that "friend" brings to the conversation.