Shards From the Bard—Wisdom From Stratford-on-Avon


by Burt Dubin on February 10, 2014


Shards From The Bard——

Wisdom From Stratford-on-Avon

Hanover International Hotel, Northamptonshire, England:

At the 3rd Annual Convention of the Professional Speakers Association of Europe, I presented “What They Don’t Teach You at Speaking Business School” . . .

For 2 days that week, I experienced Stratford-Upon-Avon. I toured the home where William Shakespeare was born, walked the cobblestone streets he walked, witnessed his work brought alive in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. (Saw The Tempest.)

I dined at the 16th century restaurant (same ancient tables!) named for the greatest thespian of his day, David Garrick. Next door to this restaurant lived the mother of John Harvard, founder of Harvard University. (So testifies a plaque on the outer wall.)

As 21st century speakers, we can discover much in the work of old Will. He understood the magnificence of the human spirit:

“What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form and moving how admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god!” (Hamlet, Act II)

And our frailties: (Polonius to his son, also in Hamlet, Act II)

“This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Shakespeare understood the human condition, mirrored it in his plays. And in his personal life; Not one to waste time, at 18, he impregnated 26 year old Anne Hathaway 3 months before they were married.

He knew how a speaker ought to be introduced. Hamlet’s advice for introducers:

“Speak my introduction, I pray you,

as I pronounce it to you, trippingly on the tongue;

but if you mouth it, as many of your associates do,

I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines.

Nor do not saw the air too much with your hands, thus;

but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest,

and, as I might say, whirlwind of your passion,

you must acquire and beget a temperance

that may give it smoothness. . .

Be not too tame neither,

but let your own discretion be your tutor;

suit the action to the word, the word to the action;

with this special observation, that you

oerstep not the modesty of nature.”


“I spoke from my heart, I spoke with passion, I left them wanting more! All by using the strategic platform techniques you showed me.

Thank you, Burt. You are a master.”

Rosalie Moscoe, 416-636-1560, Toronto, Canada


Shakespeare reflected the human condition of his day.

We are to mirror the human condition of our day.

There was only one Will Shakespeare. He shared his immortal

genius with his world. He left an enduring legacy.

There is only one you. There will never be another you. This is

your one opportunity to shine your light. To make the difference

only you can make. To share your genius with the universe of

lives you touch. You might say you’ve got this ticket. It’s your

one-way ticket. To life. It’s your one chance, It’s your only chance

to leave a legacy.

Most people live highly forgettable lives mired in mediocrity.

Don’t let yourself be one of these.

What is to be your legacy?



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