In my PR class today, we were asked to choose one of our favorite movies and find things from instances or characters in the movie that we could learn from in the area of public speaking tips.
The first movie that came to mind was Pride and Prejudice. You know, the one with Matthew McFadyen and Keira Knightly– <sigh> one of my all-time favs.
At first, I didn’t know how I could learn anything about public speaking from a movie.
I know, I know: how could I ever possess such primitive and ignorant thinking?
Well, you can breathe easy now, because I quickly realized that I was wrong.
I really started to think about it and realized how much I actually could get from the iconic characters of Jane Austen’s masterpiece. I thought that the tips I gathered were worth blogging about and sharing.
So without further ado, here’s what I gathered about good or bad public speaking from Pride and Prejudice:
- Mrs. Bennet: Don’t talk too much. Pause every once and a while—take a breath. And if all you do is gossip, complain and demand, no one will not only ever want to listen to you, but also not want to be around you in general.
- Mr. Bennet: Have a mind of your own. Don’t just repeat what others say or demand you to say. Include your own opinion when appropriate. People don’t want to hear what they just heard from the other guy/girl. Be original.
- Mr. Wickham: Be charming and know how to draw emotions. It sure worked for him…
- Mr. Collins: Please know how to relate to your audience and hold their interest. God forbid you are boring, monotone and bulldoze straight above anyone else about issues that no one cares about.
- Mary Bennet: Learn to be a bit exciting. Don’t be afraid to speak up and voice your opinion…unless its boring and unrelated—then it’s probably best that you hold your tongue. 😉
- Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Don’t give the appearance of or gain the reputation of being prideful and egotistical, without a care for anyone or anything. That turns people off right away…or does it? 🙂
- Lady Catherine de Bourgh: Demand respect but don’t instill fear in your audience. And then, in return, you also be respectful by having tact and not mindlessly offending others just because you think you’re better than them.
- Elizabeth/Lizzy Bennet: Be passionate. Be witty. Be confident. Don’t be ashamed of being yourself. (I wish I could be as beautifully poetic as Lizzy… or any of the Austen Characters really!) Oh, and having un-embarrassing, discreet and graceful family members is a plus…
If anyone thinks of anything else to include or another note-worthy character, please add to the list!!