Without a doubt, The King’s Speech deserved its Oscars and I would recommend it to all. Yes, I enjoyed the biographical aspects and the acting; but, what is even more insightful is how this man was able to overcome a debilitating vocal ‘handicap’ in order to deliver speeches during his reign as King of England.

As one who stuttered, Albert Frederick Arthur George worked with a speech coach before his ascension to the throne as well as after being crowned King George VI. At a time when radio was in its heyday, Prince Albert’s inability to speak smoothly and distinctly was one of the reasons for his reluctance to take the throne. He knew he would have to address his country and the world.

Often frustrated by his abject fear of speaking, he persevered. What is fascinating about his training with the speech coach was that he was taught to breathe correctly in the process. In fact, when he is about to address his country regarding their impending war with Germany, he is unable to begin and looks at his coach who tells him to breathe.

Why am I so keyed up about the breathing? My reasons are two-fold:

1. to find your ‘real’ or true voice, you must first learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm in order for your chest cavity to become your primary sounding board; and,
2. the best means of controlling nervousness in any form of public speaking is breathing with the support of your diaphragm.

It is truly that simple. King George’s speech coach wanted him to breathe in order to control his nervousness and to allow his voice to come through smoothly. Deep, supported breathing eliminates your body of toxins which shallow breathing is unable to do. (By the way, toxins only serve to increase your stress or your panic which is why those who are having a panic attack are first instructed to breathe.) By breathing correctly, King George VI was still nervous but he was able to control it and speak more clearly and distinctly.

If your fear of public speaking is holding you back, let The King’s Speech be a role model for you. Learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm and you will be amazed at how much easier it will be to address an audience. If a diffident man who stuttered his entire life could do it, I think you can too!

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels provides private, group and corporate training throughout the United States and Canada as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement and presentation skills. Visit Voice Dynamic and voice your opinion in her new blog.

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