Bond…. James Bond. It is an iconic statement famous throughout the English speaking world and probably much of the rest of the planet. But what can James Bond teach us about presenting?
Image via GeekDad
Well, quite a lot actually. To date there are 6 actors who have played James Bond unless you also include the spoof version of Casino Royale, where James Bond is played by actor David Niven. Whether you are a fan of Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, or any of the others in between, each Bond actor has something to teach us if we examine them carefully.
Instructor #1 – Sean Connery
The lesson to learn from “the original” James Bond is simple: brevity. He is the first actor to coin the phrase, “Bond…James Bond.” But he also tended to be a man of few words. No need for lots of flowery descriptions, just clear and to the point. The Lesson: Be brief, be clear and stay focused on your message.
Instructor #2 – George Lazenby
George teaches us that not every situation is going to be the perfect match. Although I personally enjoyed his portrayal of the character, Sean Connery was going to be a tough act to follow after five successful films. The Lesson: If you don’t connect with an audience, accept it gracefully and try something different — there are lots of opportunities.
Instructor #3 – Roger Moore
Roger Moore was the first James Bond I watched in the theater, and this James Bond was all about showmanship and making an impression. From the corny lines to the spectacular entrances, exits and escapes, Roger Moore was all about being memorable. The Lesson: Include an element that is just a little bit unexpected. If nothing else, it gives the audience something to talk about.
Instructor #4 – Timothy Dalton
Although first considered over Roger Moore while he was in his mid-twenties, Timothy Dalton was the second choice after Pierce Brosnan who was unable to fulfill the role due to other contractual obligations. Apparently Timothy was destined to play James Bond at some point in his career. The Lesson: Work hard, but be patient. When the time is right, the perfect opportunity will present itself.
Instructor #5 – Pierce Brosnan
By the time Pierce Brosnan took over the role of James Bond he had gained American fame for his role as Remington Steele. However, long before that, Albert R Broccoli (producer of the James Bond franchise) said, “if he can act … he’s my guy.” His presence, his demeanor, and his charisma were just what the role called for. The Lesson: Your personal presence is important and in many cases will make or break a presentation.
Instructor #6 – Daniel Craig
After 20 films and 5 actors, taking over the role of James Bond would seem rather daunting. In addition, Daniel is not the “right” body type — he’s blonde, and under 6 feet tall. But not only did he make the role his own, two of his three films are considered the most successful of the franchise. The Lesson: Just because something is working as is, doesn’t mean that it can’t be done better.
Maybe you are surprised to discover that James Bond has much to teach us. But then again, maybe you are not. Share in the comments what other lessons can be learned from the James Bond School of Presenting.