Lessons on Public Speaking From The King’s Speech

Prince Albert, known to his family as Bertie, reluctantly assumed the throne of England in 1936 and became King George VI. Cursed from boyhood with a terrible stammer, he struggled painfully in public until his wife convinced him to seek the help of Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist. Bertie conquered his stammer, found his voice, and became one of England’s most beloved kings. For anyone who’s ever faced fears before making a presentation or speaking in public, the king’s story contains useful tips on how we can all learn to communicate better.

Have faith in your voice.

As a child, Bertie was teased and ignored by the powerful men in his family. His stammer grew worse, until he believed he could never be cured. Just as many novice presenters struggle to get their words out, the king had to overcome a lack of faith in himself. The secret here is to persist.

Admit you need help.

The king checked his ego; listened to his wife, Elizabeth; and put his trust in Logue. Lesson: We are all flawed. No one becomes a great presenter alone. Find your own Lionel and Elizabeth.

Put the hours in.

It wasn’t until Bertie threw himself into the exercises from Logue that he was able to progress. There’s no substitute for preparation.

Leverage experience.

Nothing improves public speaking like doing it, as King George VI found out. When you can’t practice, study other people’s presentations and learn from their experience.

Be a true version of yourself.

Bertie later spoke to more than 50 countries on live radio. He wasn’t perfect, but he was loved by his people — his stammer humanized him and made him a hero.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy