The KING’S SPEECH is a brilliant film. The performances, the writing, the direction, art direction….every aspect of the film making is exquisite. It is great fun and very uplifting. But further, for our purposes, the film captures quite wonderfully most of what we at ACT of Communication® have been doing with attorneys for the past 33 years.
In helping the new King George VI (Colin Firth) overcome his stutter, the speech “specialist” Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) employs a huge variety of techniques. He teaches the King the mechanics and exercises necessary to create proper diction and all the tools required for the body to create speech ….breathing, use of the tongue, lips and teeth, expanding and maximizing the lungs. All of this is well and good…yet they go further.
Interrupting the mechanical with flights of dancing and singing and cursing and yelling and opening up to make BIG SOUND and WHISPERING SOUND. Flooding the room with fresh air and walking and moving both in the room and out into the streets. With what I like to call, “this sideways approach” the King sidles up to and overcomes, conquers, reaches beyond what he thinks he can do. His conscious mind and his intuitive/instinctive self and body all work together.
For the past several decades we have coaxed, coached, implored, propelled attorneys beyond “what they think they can do”…past their conscious patterns and proscribed voices, gestures and mannerisms to find their full selves. The full complement of emotional, intellectual, physical expression allowing them to conquer, overcome, reach beyond what they do to what they can only imagine and sometimes beyond that.
When you see the film, don’t be surprised if you don’t recognize some of the techniques as those you have experienced with us at ACT of Communication®!
Alan’s Tip: Maximize your full power of speech and emotion and intellect, it is essential to practice and to use exercises with which you may not be familiar. Break out of your comfort zone into your full expression.
There is one scene that reminds me exactly of what happens when I work with attorneys in a witness preparation session. It is just before King George (Colin Firth) gives the big speech after overcoming so much with the help of his “coach”. He is overwhelmed. Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) says, “Just talk to me.” Rush stands opposite Firth, giving him full eye contact and an open face to look at. It feels as though it is only the two of them and a microphone in the room rather than the most important, formal public speech to millions of his subjects. As if nothing matters more than this intimate exchange of words and complete acceptance of those words. It completely put me in mind of that same feeling I want the witness to have with the jurors. I have never seen a film so capture that magic moment of trust and expression as beautifully as this one.
Run, do not walk, to see this wonderful film: http://www.kingsspeech.com/
Katherine’s Tip: Make sure when your client is on the stand his/her relationship with the jurors is intimate and trusting.