How to Speak in Public – Bishop Michael Curry – Harry and Meghan’s Wedding

By Bob Morrell on May 22, 2018

Many of us watched the Royal Wedding this week and enjoyed the splendour and romance of this beautiful day. The weather, backdrop and participants presented a wonderful advert of our country to the world and we all watched with bated breath for the dress, the vows, the kiss, the display of true love.

One of the most remarked upon parts of the service was the speech by Bishop Michael Curry – a minister from the United States who spoke at length, and very eloquently about the subject of love. This speech was so powerfully received that it caused tweets like this; ‘I am an atheist, but I’d attend any Church where this man speaks.’ ‘Bishop Curry was amazing – speaking about love and slavery in the same breath.’ ‘Why can’t our politicians speak with such eloquence?’

So what was so good about it? Apart from the place and the time (which counts for so much) this speech was delivered and received so powerfully, firstly, because it was a surprise.

None of us expected that – and I am sure the Royal Family didn’t either – and the Bishop was speaking from his heart, with few notes and he just let himself go, on a subject he felt strongly about – so on that day, on that occasion and in front of this massive audience, he came across to everyone in a way that surprised everyone. Who cared that he went on for 14 minutes? He certainly didn’t and who was going to stop him! Good for him, in a time that is so rigidly censored he chose his moment to deliver an important message, and the World had to listen.

So what does that mean for you? How can you learn about speaking in public from him? Most people would struggle to deliver any speech with that level of emotion. Most would have to stop. But if you want to speak in public, in any context and have some kind of effect that comes close to this feeling, then here are the top tips:

  1. Don’t use notes – have 3 clear sections and just speak: in The Bishop’s case it was: The Power of Love, The Slaves and their belief in the healing power of love, and Fire – turning love into the new Fire. That’s all you need – if you care about the subject.
  2. Be heard: Make sure you can be heard and if there’s not amplification then practice saying your speech loudly – this will help with the actual delivery because you’ll be more used to it.
  3. Choose your pauses. The little silences allow your message to sink in whilst you take a breath and consider your next words. Don’t be afraid of a few seconds of silence.

We will be doing a further webinar on this and public speaking tips soon.