The oratory gentleman

Good afternoon,

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.

JFK takes a few minutes out of his yachting schedule to deliver an inspirational speech. I believe the speech concerned the importance of yachts and yacht-related activities.

A good speech is made up of many diverse and multifarious characteristics. It should be inspiring, motivating, stimulating, encouraging, influential and extremely long.

Winston Churchill gives a long and detailed speech concerning the history of the mortar board.

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.

Martin Luther King orating to Apollo Creed - amongst others - about how to deliver the perfect upper cut.

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.

James Stewart, while an excellent actor, found it hard to act as though he could not orate to this judge. This is because James Stewart - a gentleman - can orate in any situation.

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.

And of course Shatner sometimes delivered speeches (not pictured here).

Until next time,

HL Griffith