The King’s Speech swept the Academy Awards last week winning four Oscars, including Best Original Screenplay to screenwriter and former stutterer David Seidler. My colleague Chris has already written about The King’s Speech but I couldn’t resist adding my own two cents. In the above clip, we see Lionel Logue (no relation to our trainer Jennifer Logue!) played by Jeffrey Rush, coaching the King through a series of physical exercises to address what the Queen refers to as “mechanical difficulties”.
I’m very moved by the King’s commitment to change by doing. The interactive nature of our Presentation Skills course provides the opportunity for individuals to learn by doing as well. Not exactly with the same exercises depicted here, but by learning techniques ‘up on your feet’ in order to put theory into practice.
Here’s another tip on managing anxiety. In your preparation, if, early on, you can get into the actual room that you’re going to be speaking in, and stand on the spot where you will deliver – and practise your introduction – it won’t feel unfamiliar when you deliver it. The fear of the unknown and the unfamiliar can cause anxiety. So the more you can make the experience familiar in advance, the less anxiety-provoking it will be.
The fact that this film has caught the imagination of so many, to me speaks to the inspirational message. Whether you stutter or are fearful of speaking in front of groups of people (and who isn’t?) the idea that you can learn techniques that will prove triumphant, is a message worth holding on to. It is possible because, just like Lionel Logue, Working Voices’ trainers see it all the time!