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HD   NR Closed Captioning

Brian Weidling & Paul Galichia

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About the Movie

At its core, SPEAK is the story of hope, perseverance, and transformation. SPEAK is a powerful and inspiring documentary about conquering life's hurdles and finding your voice. Set in the multifaceted world of Toastmasters International, where 300,000 members strive to overcome their fear of public speaking, SPEAK follows six unforgettable finalists as they prepare and compete in a grueling contest to be named "World Champion of Public Speaking." Each struggles with seemingly insurmountable personal and professional difficulties, but in the end, one contestant bravely emerges as the World Champion. In a society based on free expression, a surprising number of people have no voice. Their silence comes from fear, with the most primal fear of all: the fear of public speaking. Set against this backdrop, the film focuses on the very up-close, personal journeys of the selected finalists: an actor, an amputee motivational speaker, a college professor, an IT guy, a single mom suffering from Lupus, and a retiree. Viewers get to know each finalist as they share their personal stories about their life's hurdles and triumphs, watch their preparation, and compete for the ultimate public speaking prize. What's more, the film follows two of the finalists in the aftermath, making this more than just a story about a competition. One returns home to pick up the pieces of the life he put on hold in the quest to be the best, the other faces life and death and the struggle to leave a legacy when your time has run out. SPEAK includes an interview with Toastmaster headliner, journalist, author and MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who became a Toastmaster while working on Capitol Hill. SPEAK is a contest film like no other.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 5
  • Fresh: 3
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 6.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: In the beginning "Speak" too often sounds like a recruiting film for Toastmasters, but it eventually gets past that and tells some compelling stories about the finalists. – Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, Aug 16, 2012

Rotten: A moderately involving, conventionally structured look at the art of public speaking as practiced by nine finalists at the Toastmasters' 2008 world championship, Speak has surprisingly little to say about its subject. – Justin Chang, Variety, Aug 15, 2012

Rotten: Ultimately too superficially diffuse - and programmed to reveal a winner - to focus on one kind of human interest story. – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, Aug 16, 2012

Fresh: Doc about public speaking remains engaging despite familiar format. – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter, Aug 16, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Inspiring, incredibly moving

I literally sat on the edge of my chair mesmerized for most of this movie. "Speak" was excellently crafted, revealing insights into the personal lives of each of the speaker world finalists. The winning speeches provided in the additional material are valuable to watch over and over again for anyone striving to refine their speaking ability.

And the story of LaShunda Rundles is simply beyond belief. I wanted to be a better person after seeing all that she overcomes.

Highly recommended.


Intensely moving and had me on the edge of my seat. I got emotionally involved and even shed a tear at the end. I didn't think it was that obvious how it would turn out.

Inspiring and moving doc!

Funny, heart breaking and inspiring story that follows the journey of remarkable characters, as they compete for public speaking championships. If you are trying to find your own voice... It is a must see!

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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings