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You should make every public speech count


What is going on here?

In the space of a few weeks two public figures whose jobs have an impact on all of us have been preparing to make keynote speeches.
They wouldn’t be delivering their carefully chosen words unless they were important. They wouldn’t be speaking in front of live television cameras, radio microphones and open reporter notebooks unless what they were about to say would be of interest and indeed significance to the rest of us. Irrespective of our personal politics and opinions.
And yet….. hang on let me tell you a story.

Public Relations

You would have to be six foot under or tragically deaf and dumb not to know that a new James Bond film is about to be released. The advertising has been everywhere. Most of it remarkably free as acres of media time and space has been given over to its stars, theme tunes and so on. 007 really is a licence to make $000,000’s.
It’s called publicity. Advertising. Public relations. Spin even. But it doesn’t matter what your preferred name is, it works. Our attention is attacked from all angles. And the publicists rightly can pat themselves on the back.
But what if they said, do you know what, there’s a new Bond movie coming out before Christmas but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s going to be dull, a real bore.
Alright some might be sufficiently moved to go and see it and find out why. But the majority of us, well we’d treat it like the arrival of Nitty Nora at junior school. What – who’s Nitty Nora? Go google!

Public speaking

If you haven’t heard of Nitty Nora you must be aware of Mark Carney the Governor of the Bank of England. We pay in every way for his ideas and decisions. And you can’t have missed the arrival of John McDonnell onto the mainstream political platform. He’s the newly elected Shadow Chancellor.
And yet just before both these figures made their speeches to the country this is what they told us to expect.
McDonnell: “My speech at the Labour Party Conference will be boring.”
And Carney before his speech on Britain’s membership of the European Union: “It will be a bit of a yawner.”
As the great philosopher Homer might put it: “D’Oh!”


As a public speaker, it’s your duty and function to inform the rest of us interesting information that will be both useful and relevant. To guide us in a certain direction using your expertise and know-how. And to tell your tale in a lively and where appropriate amusing manner to keep us connected and awake.
Both these gents know better. They didn’t get where they are today by telling their acolytes and backers that their views are dull and not worth listening to. Quite the contrary.
So for them to insult our intellect in this way is shameful and unprofessional.
Every public uttering we make needs to be considered and at the very least delivered with enthusiasm. It’s what we coach our clients at to do. And for these two public figures to advertise their speeches in such a way is both disrespectful and an affront to our acuity.
Why did they do it? Well that’s another story of course.

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