23rd January 2018

Utilising its portfolio of state of the art cinemas, Odeon provides excellent conferencing and business spaces. Their exciting cinema environments are ideal for hosting talks and presentations that will leave a memorable impression. It’s fitting then that both the cinema screen and the conference stage are often dominated by great talks. Feats of rhetoric that wow audiences and connect with them on a deeper level.

We’ve chosen some of our favourite speeches and monologues and distilled some crucial advice from the silver screen. These tips are sure to improve your speech the next time you deliver an address at one of Odeon’s excellent conference spaces.

Deliver it with Passion

To start with a classic, if a little cliche, President Whitmore’s address is filled with passion. He understands the needs of his audience (hope in the face of alien doom) and is able to deliver what they need with inspirational passion. What's more, he projects his voice. An essential thing to remember when speaking in big auditoriums - even the people at the back need to hear what you're saying.

Credibility is Crucial

It’s not always about speaking the loudest as this scene from 12 Angry Men shows, if you can’t connect with them you’ll lose them.

It’s important to put vigour and passion into your address but if your audience can’t empathise with your words you’ll fail to make an emotional connection. The audience’s empathy with you and their acceptance of your credibility as a speaker is what Aristotle called ethos. Ethos forms one of the three key pillars of rhetoric along with, pathos and logos. We see the lack of ethos clearly in this scene as the rest of the jurors lose sympathy with the speaking juror and quite literally turn their backs on the credibility of his arguments.

Elicit an Emotional Response

Take the St Crispin’s day speech for Kenneth Branagh's 1985 adaptation of Henry V. Brannagh, as King Henry V must lift the spirits and morale of his army in the face of overwhelming odds and what seems to be certain defeat. He employs pathos with his challenges to his army’s bravery. He elicits an emotional response to his speech.

Know When to Employ Emotion

At EventLAB 2017, Julius O’Dowd, Senior Commercial Executive at the BBC picked this clip from Erin Brockovich as an excellent example of deploying emotion. Use it to back-up the reason of your argument.
“Deploying controlled emotion is good if you’ve planned it. It’s very powerful and can change the dynamic of the negotiation. Uncontrolled emotion is bad…you can get angry and don’t know where you’re going (with it)”

Be Dynamic

We can’t all be Daniel Day-Lewis when it comes to delivering an incredible performance, but we can take note of the way he delivers this monologue from Lincoln. He is quiet when he needs to be but does not restrain himself from forcefully driving home his points. Try and add dynamism to your presentation, don’t be afraid to speak at a slower pace. Similarly, broad hand gestures have been recommended by some communications experts as a way to draw the audience’s eye and project dynamism.

Odeon Leicester Square

So when you take the stand at one of Odeon's excellent conference venues, you can speak safely in the knowledge that Odeon's excellent AV tech will make your presentation look amazing. Channel the greatness of these performances and deliver a spectacular address.

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