How breathing shapes a character

I’m at a business conference this week where I’m listening to speeches given by business executives.

Its remarkable to witness, that no matter how wonderful or awful the script is, if the speaker can’t use their own breathing when they’re talking – the words don’t really matter.

I know about breath control from being an actor, (and from the training in iambic pentameter), so I know about how breath illuminates spoken text (or not). But I was surprised to see how much nerves and tension and competiveness prevented a lot of today’s speakers from effectively using their words. They had some great phrases to use – but a lot of them just dumped their words out on the table like pieces from a puzzle.

One of the speakers, the CEO of the company, took his time to deliver his messages. Yes, he did seem a bit…ponderous…maybe even older in his vocal quality. But his messages had more weight and meaning because you could frame their connection to your understanding of where he was going in his speech.

I had the chance to go see THE KINGS SPEECH this past weekend, and there were some glorious moments, not just in story telling, but in the power of what words are, and how they can be used – and overcome.

I think I’ll be writing with more of a consciousness of the breathing between and in the words I write. At least for a little while.

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