Public Speaking: What can we learn from Boris's recent car-crash speech?

By Bob Morrell on November 25, 2021

Firstly, key questions are: Why no auto-cue? Why was his speech not marked/highlighted? He is the Prime Minister after all, and this is an audience of business leaders - really important, influential people that you would hope to inspire? 

Secondly, and more importantly, why couldn't he wing it? For someone who is so used to making speeches, you would have thought he would have had the presence of mind to discard the sheets of paper, summarise what he wanted to say, go 'off piste' a bit and then finish. It might have cut it a bit short, but he wouldn't have looked like a fool. 

This is classic poor preparation, no rehearsal, no cheat-sheet or summary cards, no consideration of ones' audience, and once he's struggling, not being able to quickly come away from the sight of someone dithering and completely lost. If he had had a key objective for his speech, he could have simply focused on that, told a related story and given them some inspirational tag-lines. 

Presentation Skills Training must contain a section which states 'what if the technology dies?' also 'what if you lose your way?'.

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