The Bard is Best

Last Wednesday (February 24th) I was given the opportunity to present a speech to the Toronto University Health Network Toastmasters Club.  I served as a ‘target speaker’ that members evaluated in an Evaluation Contest.  What was the topic of my speech?  William Shakespeare, of course – and why he should be considered the greatest writer (and entertainer) of all-time.

Always hoping for Powerpoint slides…

The basis of my argument was this:

1. Shakespeare created the greatest characters of all-time.  Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, Lady Macbeth, Richard III, Falstaff, etc.  Go down the list and even if you haven’t seen or read the play, you know the characters.  The greatest characters of all-time.

2. Shakespeare created the greatest stories of all-time.  Strip away the language and get to the core of his stories.  The Bard had everything in his plays – kinetic action and adventure, extremely bloody violence, war, poetry, love, romance, drama, double-crossing, cross-dressing…  The greatest stories of all-time.

3. Shakespeare created production that appealed to all audiences.  Today he is thought of intellectual and high-brow.  Back when he presented his productions they appealed to the royalty in their own private booths and the common folk who would pay a couple ducats to stand in the mud and be entertained.  If Shakespeare were alive today he would write not only plays but be a filmmaker, a video game designer, a comic book illustrator and a mobile content developer.

In summary, Shakespeare is not only the greatest writer of all-time, but the greatest entertainer.

The speech went over well and I look forward to the opportunity to present it again sometime soon.  Thanks to the members of the UHN Toastmasters for being a great audience and to Peter Shewchenko, a Hall-of-Fame speaker himself to give me the opportunity to persuade another audience of the Bard’s powers.

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