Stress and Rhythm Exercise – Up In The Air Speech 1

This exercise consists of a video clip from the movie Up In The Air, where George Clooney plays a human resources consultant named Sean who is an expert at firing people. In the clip, he is giving a motivational speech. 

In addition to the clip, there is a PDF file that is a transcript of the speech. 

You need to read the transcript along with the speech, mark all the stressed syllables with an accent mark (`), and draw a line through all the unstressed syllables that have been converted to schwa (ə).  Notice other places where unstressed syllables have been compressed by contractions or changing the vowels. 

Read the speech along with Sean several times and make sure you say the unstressed vowels correctly.  Put more emphasis on the stressed vowels and less on the unstressed. It creates a rhythm where the stressed vowels are somewhat equal distance apart, louder, and more distinct than the unstressed ones.