Saturday, October 17, 2009

Public Speaking at The Office: Dwight’s Salesman of the Year Speech

In the second TV season of The Office there was an episode called Dwight’s Speech that originally aired in March of 2006. In it Dwight Schrute wins the award for Northeastern Pennsylvania Salesman of the Year and has to give a speech. His colleague, Jim Halpert, gives him some truly awful advice. Jim tells him that the key to being a good public speaker is waving your arms in the air, and banging your fists on the lectern - a lot.

Dwight give the speech, which here is shown revised into a phony 2008 vice presidential campaign ad. You also can view a black-and-white version of the uncut speech here. Much of the following script apparently comes from Benito Mussolini's "War Statement" and some other speeches made when he was dictator of Italy during World War II:

“[BANGS FISTS] Blood alone moves the wheels of history! [pause] Have you ever asked yourselves in an hour of meditation - which everyone finds during the day - how long we have been striving for greatness? [BANGS FISTS] Not only the years we've been at war – the war of work – but from the moment as a child, when we realized that the world could be conquered.

It has been a lifetime struggle [BANGS FISTS] a never-ending fight, I say to you [BANGS FISTS], and you will understand, that it is a privilege to fight. We are warriors! [Applause]

Salesmen of Northeastern Pennsylvania, I ask you [BANGS FISTS] once more rise and be worthy of this historical hour. [More applause, and Dwight gives a maniacal laugh] No revolution is worth anything unless it can [BANGS FISTS] defend itself.

Some people will tell you salesman is a bad word. They’ll conjure up images of used car dealers, and door to door charlatans. This is our duty: to change their perception. I say, salesman – and women – of the world... unite! We must never acquiesce, for it is together... together that we prevail. We must never cede control of the Motherland...

Audience: ...for it is together that we prevail! [Thunderous applause] [BANGS FISTS, REPEATEDLY]”

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