Communication Lessons from The Kings Speech

This Post is an organic continuation of the last post of mine on the Black Swan and 127 Hours (Three Films, Three Oscar winning films!)

The Kings Speech is an incredible film; truly worthy of an Oscar which the film has received for the Best Actor for Colin Firth. Firth has acted like a vulnerable underdog sort of a person; stricken with the disease associated with the people who are second in line to the throne…near but yet far, the Prince Harry Syndrome- accountability without real influence and power.

The Films backdrop is set in 1925  and continues till the advent of the second World War’s commencement in 1939. Colin Firth is a stammerer who has faced many an insult and humiliation since the age of four when He was mistreated by the Nanny and hence developed an inferiority complex, He was forced to write with his right hand being a natural left hander, inculcating something un-natural has its own psychological cost as well.  He is helped reluctantly by a self trained Aussie Speech Therapist named Lionel Logue in the film and Firth being Bertie aka King George The VI. The film depicts the journey of a person low on self esteem thursted on the Throne when his elder brother abdicates it, in order to marry his colourful mistress Wallace from Baltimore. Lionel is there by Bertie’s side when he gives his coronation speech and when presenting the War commencement address to the nation, at the end of the movie. The commoner Lionel teaches the King a few truths which a psychologically weak individual has to confront if He has to meet the challenge. He insists the King calls him Lionel and He calls him by his nickname Bertie to create a comfort level and a level playing field! Lionel becomes a good confidant of the King and the King decorates him with trust and recognition.

The film demonstrates that for a leader his oratory skills are critical to his survival if not success. It presents a demeanor of ability and confidence to carry out his tasks as one the principal skill sets requirement is to effectively communicate to his people or stakeholders.  That is the reason Barack Obama is a  global leader or closer to home Atal Bihari Vajpayee is a respected statesman. Barack Obama’s Cairo, Jakarta and Berlin address’s are what will be remembered; his ability to inspire is historic. His Nobel Peace Prize address was stuff which great speeches are made of as well.

In this Web 2.0 age of the media, effective communication can make or break a leader of which a precursor was shown in the film as well- with the advent of the radio, the ability to communicate and inspire became the most valuable skill which a leader could possess. As an individual who used to stammer until my late teens, I would vouch the communication with charm and ease is a blessing indeed!


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