Speakeasy Staff Reacts to The King’s Speech.
By Doris Bucher, Speakeasy Instructor Since 1980.
“King’s Speech” Lives Today In Communication Development
January 26, 2011 – The highly-acclaimed, Golden Globe-winning and multiple Academy Award®-nominated motion picture The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, is based on the true story of King George VI and is the engrossing tale of the Royal Monarch’s quest to find his voice.
The movie, set in the 1930s, shows that learning to connect with oneself is essential in order to be able to successfully connect with others. This principal of connection is at the core of what Speakeasy Communication Consulting, LLC, provides executives at all levels 80 years later.
After the death of his father King George V (Michael Gambon) and the scandalous abdication of King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), Bertie (Firth) who has suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life, is suddenly crowned King George VI of England. With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist of that time, Lionel Logue (Rush). After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox course of treatment and eventually form an unbreakable bond. With the support of Logue, his family, his government and Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall), the King will overcome his stuttering problem and deliver a radio-address that inspires his people and unites them in battle.
Firth won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance and is nominated in the same category in this year’s Academy Awards, to be handed out February 27.
The success King George VI has in overcoming his “stammer” stems from the deep connection and bond he develops with his instructor Logue. This deep connection allows the King to connect deeply with himself and then with his kingdom, the people of England. “As The King’s Speech shows, people need to connect with themselves before they can successfully and truly connect with others,” commented Speakeasy CEO Scott Weiss. “The King’s instructor helps him reach into his inner soul to make that connection. This is at the core of what we provide at Speakeasy in the 21st century.”
The King’s Speech is a story about “stammering” or stuttering. Three million Americans have stuttering issues, according to The Stuttering Foundation, and some are business leaders. Many business leaders face their fears and seek help to reach their professional goals. Speakeasy has been helping executives at all levels achieve greater business results through more powerful communication. They have helped business people successfully overcome their communication issues to lead their businesses to new heights. “As can be seen in the film, when someone has a severe fluency problem, the therapy process will most likely be long term,” says Speakeasy Senior Speech-Language Pathologist, Doris Bucher. “At Speakeasy, we can be a part of that process in cooperation with clinical speech pathologists,” says Bucher.
“The King’s Speech shows the potentially powerful toll poor communication can take on people, especially those in highly-visible leadership positions,” added Weiss. “The movie also shows the enormous power that communication can have to galvanize and motivate people, in this case, an entire country.”
Speakeasy makes it a priority to include five nationally certified speech-language pathologists on its staff. The King’s Speech, which portrays unconventional methods at that time, actually shows a precursor to many practices incorporated by speech and language pathologists today. Jane Jones, another of Speakeasy’s senior Speech-Language Pathologists commented, “The movie accurately portrays that the listeners’ recognition of your expertise is directly linked to your ability to communicate. The King’s ultimate success could not have happened without Logue first developing their relationship and earning his trust, which opened the gate to his speech development plan working and being successful,” says Jones. “Real change in how others see you is very possible and it starts with a commitment to learning and with someone willing to connect with you to bring that change about,” she added.
As many as 50 leaders a week from all over the country and the world attend Speakeasy programs in the company’s new learning and coaching facility in Buckhead. Speakeasy has a staff of 27, including a full-time faculty of 11 credentialed instructors, most with over 20 years of tenure with the company.
“Successful executives leading successful companies place an enormous value on interpersonal communication in this exploding world of not-so-personal communication/social media,” added Weiss. “They know, as King George learned from his instructor, that at the heart of every successful relationship is a commitment to connection.”
Nearly eight decades after King George VI made his historic speech, with help from his communications instructor, Speakeasy is forming leaders through the process of developing their communication.