Monday, January 17, 2011
Since I've been writing a lot about speech lately, and unfortunately, much of it concerning the surfeit of hate speech, it was nice to see The King's Speech last night with C. Simply put, one man's speech, crucial to a nation, becomes unleashed through dedication, experimentation, and the teacher's open heart that is willing, indeed almost demands, an open heart from his famous pupil. Colin Firth gives another excellent performance in what must be a very challenging role. Playing a stutter for someone like him who normally delivers lines as smooth and silky as his good looks must have been quite difficult. His performance, and that of the remainder of the cast, were quite fine. While George VI's speech at the outbreak of the war must have been quite moving, we also know that Churchill's speech (and he too had a speech impediment--listen to him lisp his "s's") helped win the war. Yes, speech can serve a powerful good. Speech, for good or ill, is quite powerful. In this film we celebrate how it comes to empower a man and a nation.
Garr Reynolds @ Presentation Zen and in his books has some very important things to say about communication. In this particular entry, you get a double treat because he embeds a TED Talk by Dr. Brene Brown, professor of social work. I'd not heard of her before, but she made an excellent presentation. Interestingly, she reminds me of themes that famous trial lawyer Gerry Spence preaches in his teaching: vulnerability and communicating from the heart. Not very lawyerly by most peoples beliefs, but in fact, as Spence's success demonstrates, it's how one connects with others. Anyway, both Reynolds and Dr. Brown are well worth the time and effort.