The art of public speaking is a highly valued skill. If I had to place a value upon it, it’d be somewhere between four hundred thousand Dutch francs and 13 million Italian lira. You do the maths.
Nevertheless, a gentleman should be a skilled orator. You never know when you will be called on to deliver a gracious speech about the host of a soiree or if you will have to talk your way out of a hostage situation if the Reform Club is stormed by Nazis.
A good speech is made up of many diverse and multifarious characteristics. It should be inspiring, motivating, stimulating, encouraging, influential and extremely long.
Let us not forget, though, that a speech should be delivered with purpose. That purpose may be to inspire, be gracious, entertain or teach. Or, in some cases, all four at once. When I received my honourary Academy Award for my tireless service to cinema (for setting up Griffith’s Silent Film School), I gave what was regarded as the longest – and hence best – acceptance speech in the award’s history.
Once you have perfected your orating ability, as a respected gentleman, you will have to deliver speeches to thousands, perhaps trillions, of people. But just like a gentleman does not get nervous landing an out-of-control aircraft, a gentleman does not get nervous speaking to large crowds.
So don’t forget to cultivate your orational skills so you can deliver a rousing speech at the next party, soiree or Congressional meeting you attend.
Until next time,