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Did Boris' Speech Deliver?

Monday, 11 May 2020 09:37

So, what are your thoughts on Boris' speech?  Do you think it delivered?  Was it clear?  Are we the nation fully briefed and inspired for change?  

We help a whole range of people deliver speeches and we write their scripts too.  So, here's what we thought: 

THE SCRIPT: The basics of any good speech are the words you use – your script. Without good content the rest falls down.  And in this speech the content had to be King.  But we felt his script was too conversional in style and too unstructured making it hard to separate the ‘chat’ from the all too important ‘key information’.  And any key bits of information lacked sufficient detail or explanation.  

STRUCTURE:  Having a clear structure is important for any speech, and it’s often good to set this out from the top.  Boris’ script lacked an obvious structure which could mean that any key details are then in danger of getting lost.  

With any speech making sure your viewer walks away with clear and informed ‘takeout’ is so important.   

ALLOCATION OF TIME:  Boris spent a lot of time praising the nation and most importantly the NHS at the top of his speech. Praise indeed, but these encouraging words were not meant to be the main purpose of this particular speech.  We felt he spent too much time at the top on general context, and not enough time on setting out his new plan.  Having a simple ‘running order’ where you allocate time to the key section of your speech forces your hand to focus in on what is important.   We felt Boris shoud have got to his key points of his new plan much much quicker.  And when Boris did finally get to his plan it felt rushed - it was as if he'd run out of time.

CLARITY: We feel Boris should have adopted a much more instructive approach to his speech, focussing in hard on the details of his new 'call to action'. His language and information needed to be more direct with more explanation and detail on the new points.  The nation has waited a good few weeks for this speech, so our expectations were high and our desire for detail was ready and waiting – but did Boris’ speech feed our need?  

THE PURPOSE: Whenever you are delivering a speech it's important to focus in on the purpose – and also not to forget this purpose.  Ask yourself ‘what do I want to achieve with this’?  So, what was Boris' purpose here - to rally the nation, or to give us clear instructions about how to move forwards?  We felt his purpose was lost. 

HIS DELIVERY: Boris has become a much more confident speaker.  As a leader he has found and developed his own style.  The thumping of the desk, the pointed fists to accentuate his key words…he has become more passionate, more focussed and more connected with what he is saying.  But, in this case we feel his impassioned delivery actually overshadowed the need here for good solid content – pure and simple.  Content in this case should have been King, not Boris himself. 

But what did you think?  Do you agree?  Did Boris deliver?  Did it give you what you needed?