Yesterday I went to the opening of the exhibit in the Library of Parliament celebrating Winston Churchill’s famous “Some chicken!! Some neck!!” speech which he delivered to the Canadian Parliament on December 30, 1941.
It is quite famous in part for its content and in part because Churchill’s speeches in the British House were not filmed. So the Ottawa speech, and one delivered to a joint session of the United States Congress a few days before give a perspective on Churchill’s speaking style that is not available from other sources. It is also famous because right after he delivered the speech, Yousuf Karsh took the iconic photo of Churchill in the Speakers office.
I have read the text of the speech before. And while it is good, to tell you the truth I was never moved.
But when I was watching the video yesterday, I understood why Churchill is Churchill. His voice is commanding. His timing is perfect. He moved the audience like the great orator that he was.
Part of the exhibit is the actual text used by Churchill when he delivered the speech with his hand written addition. It is in Churchill’s usual “blank verse” form which he used for emphasis.
Those of us who are called on to give speeches with some frequency can only marvel when watching one of the greatest who ever lived. The exhibit is a thrill. I recommend it to all of you.