From the Characters of Pride and Prejudice Comes… Tips for Public Speaking?

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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.

Just Oh-So Beautiful!

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

  • 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

  • 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.

The Charming and Deceptive Foot Soldier Wickham

  • Mr. Wickham: Be charming and know how to draw emotions. It sure worked for him…

Mr. Collins, The Dreaded Cousin

  • 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.

The Dry, Gray and Depressing Mary Bennet

  • 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. 😉

Fitzwilliam Darcy... oh, Darcy

  • 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? 🙂

Her "Royalness" High-n'-Mighty-(n'-Stuck-Up) Lady Catherine De Bourgh

  •  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.

And... the unspoken and honest Lizzy.

  • 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!!

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About Isa Ramos

ME: SEU Sophomore. Writer. Editor. Reader. Event Planner/Organizer. List-Maker. Floridian by birth. 50% Spain-ish. Amateur Athlete. Aspiring Chef. Servant-Leader. Daughter of the King of Kings. LOVE: Worship; a Fresh Fruit Salad; Storms, Breezes; Seashells, Waves, Sunsets; Autumn Leaves; a Camp Fire; My Family & Friends; The Holiday Season; Sparkling Christmas Lights; Disney Fireworks. ENJOY: Grilled Cheese; Traveling; Soccer, Frisbee, Tennis, Swimming, Volleyball; Watching the World Cup; the Olympics; Peanut Butter and Nutella Sandwiches; Spanish Tapas; Chocolate-Covered Strawberries; Chocolate Cake. FAV. PLACES: Home, IKEA of Orlando, Sarasota, South Dartmouth, Newport, Mallorca, Barcelona; Epcot; KOBE' Steakhouse, The Cheesecake Factory. DREAM VACATIONS: Tahiti, Bahamas, Hawaii; Alaska, Canada; Italy, Sweden, Ireland; Israel; Colorado, California, North Carolina, New York.

4 responses »

  1. I’m really glad you added these to your blog. It was fun in class to see all the different movies, and how we can learn about public speaking through the movies. Pride and Prejudice is a fabulous movie, and I really love your tips that go along with the characters. I payed special attention in class to yours because I think all of the points are so true and so helpful. We can learn something different from each character in the movie, and you did a great job explaining each of them.

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  3. Haha, this is a great correlation. I’m such a lover of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice (seriously, it freaks my friends out), and I think you did a good job of taking these characters and applying them to the PR field. I tend to identify most with Lizzy- a little too honest and passionate, but I can definitely take a look at the other characters to see what a should/ shouldn’t be doing. Great job!

    Katie

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