Anatole Francis wrote, “ To accomplish great things, one must not only act but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.” In the film The King’s Speech, King George VI did not believe that speech therapy could help him. He was so traumatized after trying to articulate clearly in front thousands of people. The audience frowned with disdain and sympathy for him. The minute one experiences embarrassment, he or she will never want to experience it again. The King tried many techniques one can think of, But because of his short fuse and temper, he was not too successful. His supportive wife Elizabeth, seeks a speech therapist named Lionel Logue, who was the key to his success and accomplishments with overcoming his speech impediment. Even though the speech therapist didn’t have a degree, his intense therapeutic lessons did the King well, which proves that no one has to have a degree in order to help someone overcome a challenging obstacle.
Overcoming a challenge doesn’t happen instantly or automatically. It is the outcome of an intention and conscious efforts to doing things that scare a person. Pageantry involves frequent public speaking and impromptu questions. On one eventful night of the Miss Sophomore Sweetheart 2009-2010 pageant, there was a contestant who was truly awesome the whole night until the question and answer segment. She stepped out in a gorgeous turquoise cocktail dress and cinderella glass heels. She stood in front of the mic awaiting her question. The contestant was so nervous that her knees began to tremble. The only thing she could do was smile and listen. The master of ceremonies finally began asking the question.
As the contestant began to answer the question, she stared right into the audience as they were whispering and giggling. She then stopped in her tracks and started to stumble. Her heart felt a deep pounding because of the embarrassing moment. She then got lost in her answer and terribly confused. To end that embarrassing moment, she just said “Thank you!” She quickly walked off the stage in disappointment knowing that her chance of the crown was gone. After that, she never wanted to do another show again. Later in the year 2010, she decided that she would like to vie for the prestigious title of Virgin Islands Carnival Queen. But she had one problem and that was the impromptu segment of question and answer.
In the film The King’s Speech, there were many techniques used to improve his stuttering. This includes diaphragmatic breathing, shadowing, masking and pacing techniques. Also, when they would have little conversations, when he stuttered, Mr. Logue would tell him to sing it in a song. He also used tongue twisters to exercise his tongue. These techniques were also applied in the lessons for the contestant who stumbled on her words. Her chaperone, Mrs. Kenya Frett Rowe, like Mr. Logue, also doesn’t have a degree, but, also like him, she did a great job. Taking smaller breaths with the diaphragm, helped the contestant to relax and to speak more fluently.
When relaxing the breathing, the entire body will be relaxed, and this would make the body more comfortable than tense and nervous. This was exactly what the contestant needed. She was also taught to pace herself while answering the question. Slowing down and pacing helps tremendously in preventing stuttering and stumbling. Every other day, Mrs. Rowe and the contestant would work on her issue of answering impromptu questions and giving speeches for the show. The day of any interview or introductory performance, they would go to the place where the event was being held and practice. This was a big help for the contestant because it allowed her to feel comfortable on the day of the event.
The night of the Virgin Islands Carnival Queen show was one of the biggest moments of her life. It was time to answer the impromptu question. She stepped out onto the stage with confidence, but deep inside, she was very nervous. As she stood in front of the mic, she thought of all the techniques she was taught. After they asked the question she took a deep breathe and began to answer. After she said “thank you”, she couldn’t believe that she done it. She was in shock and full of excitement at the same time. She was so relieved that it was over. Her chaperone was very proud.
As a result of overcoming challenging obstacles, one grows as a person and expands the possibilities that surrounds their life. Stuttering is due to a combination of factors, including genetic and environmental. In order to overcome challenging obstacles, one must have support and someone who believes in them. Mrs. Rowe believed in her contestant just like Mr. Logue believed in the King. He believed that he was a strong and powerful individual whom with time can overcome any obstacle with good help and support. Even though Mr. Logue did not have a degree, he was still a great therapist. This shows that one does not have to be taught in an academic environment to help someone overcome challenging obstacles. Being experienced is just as good as having a degree.
Courtney from Study Moose
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