Spine-tingling Speeches From Stage and Screen


By Emma Serlin
December 17, 2020

Have you ever noticed how beautiful words and beautiful delivery can make one feel warm, happy, and in some little way delighted with the world.

To that end, we thought we'd bring together a little cornucopia (I love that word) of amazing extracts - so that in a bored or low moment, you can perk yourself up with exquisite language delivered with pomp, delight and supreme skills.

Here are some of the team's favourites.

Richard Burton - Under Milk Wood

Who couldn’t love Richard Burton’s velvety tones? We could listen to it for hours. It’s so easy to simply imagine his listener’s fascination. Any counter thought is immediately kicked out of your mind as you hang on to each and every word and luxuriate in the alliteration. You can have fun with your voice, in the same way, it’s all about mindfulness and downwards inflection. 

 

Kenneth Brannagh - Henry V

Some people are completely at ease when they speak, but there’s none of that here. There is only conviction and passion, you can hear it in Kenneth Brannagh’s voice. Now while you may have jitters when speaking, it can help to remember not to take yourself too seriously. Remember that there’s power in your gestures, and that’s a great way to translate your energy away from the cortisol in your system, instead of into your outstretched arms.

 

Robin Williams - Dead Poet's Society

Will anything ever be as iconic as Carpe Diem and Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society? It proves that practice makes perfect. It's so simple but often overlooked, there is nothing like practice to get you ready for an important presentation or speech. It's vitally important to remind yourself of your overall objective and what, for you, is the best possible outcome of this speech. Practice putting emphasis on those words. Add emotion into the vowels. Read through your prepared remarks and look for key words or phrases that are particularly important. You can then highlight these with your voice and gestures.


Tom Hanks - Saving Private Ryan

To create something motivational like this clip in Saving Private Ryan, try to avoid waffling or going off-topic too much. When your aim is to get your audience to engage with what you’re saying, you want the focus on the problem and then the outcome. It can be described in the form of a story or perhaps a powerful hook, rising emotion and then action in the ears of your listeners. You can also mention your values and what’s driving you but remember that to really engage and connect, you need to show them why it matters by infusing a palpable sense of emotion and humanity. 

 

Reese Witherspoon - Legally Blonde

I think we can all agree that not many can deliver a presentation with pizzazz quite like Elle Wood’s closing argument in Legally Blonde. If you’re wanting to follow Miss Woods' lead when speaking, it is important that you remember the essentials of making the right impression. Particularly with your body language and voice. But this is easier said than done. When it comes to your body - don’t be afraid to take up space. Hold your shoulders back, your head up straight and your chin level as you speak.

 

I hope you enjoy them!

 

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