How to Talk Like William Shatner

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If you want to be an impressionist, or at least impress your family at Thanksgiving, you should learn how to do a William Shatner impersonation. Even William Shatner occasionally does a William Shatner impersonation, overemphasizing his distinctive voice and speech pattern that has helped the routines of stand up comedians and stage impersonations for decades.

  • Widen your eyes and inhale audibly with your mouth open.

  • Raise both hands and karate-chop them up and down with nearly every word you speak, even before you speak.

  • Say the first word of the sentence.

  • Pause, frown and mostly shut one eye closed. Point at the audience, wagging the finger ever so slightly.

  • Say the rest of the sentence as fast as you can and then the first half of the second sentence, going from pointing to karate-chopping again.

  • Pause, look around without moving your head and repeat as long as necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's more important to talk like William Shatner than to have your voice sound like Shatner for people to immediately recognize who you are impersonating.
  • Most audiences associate Shatner with Captain Kirk, but if you know your audience likes "Boston Legal" and not "Start Trek," act more like Denny.
  • Perform this in front of a mirror to get the facial expression down pat. You can also record your impersonation and play it back to hear how you can improve.
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