Speak, The Movie

By Dave Zielinski

If you’re ever had a bad case of nerves before speaking — and count yourself in the minority if you haven’t — you’ll want to check out the movie Speak, released last fall. The documentary follows the trials and triumphs of six people who compete in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking, chronicling how they cope with and ultimately overcome the age-old fear of public speaking.

The filmmakers spent more than two years visiting Toastmasters clubs to interview members about their public speaking anxiety, and the movie culminates with a behind-the-scenes look at a Toastmasters speaking competition in Calgary, Alberta.

The six finalists the directors chose to feature all have inspiring life stories, which makes for intriguing and at times riveting viewing. The film also followers the finalists after they return home from the competition. In an interview with The Toastmaster magazine, the filmmakers say one of the film’s core messages is that every person has a story to tell.

“The contestants focused all of their efforts to be the best, not just the best speakers, but the best human being they can be,” Brian Wiedling, one of the filmmakers, told the magazine. “They looked on life’s hard moments, learned from their mistakes and dug deep inside themselves to live their dreams.”

For more on the movie or to host a screening, visit http://speakthemovie.com/. The site also allows you to post a YouTube video of one of your  presentations to the Speak Facebook page, where you can get feedback from peers and Toastmasters around the world.

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