I've blogged before about politicians - including President Obama and Ed Miliband - using teleprompters, reading from scripts, speaking without scripts, pretending not to have a script, modelling management guru walkabouts, etc.
In his leader's speech yesterday, Mr Miliband excelled himself by forgetting some crucial lines from the script he had tried to remember. Although his last two efforts to memorise scripts more or less verbatim were hailed by the media as great successes, the last thing you want is for journalists and their editors to concentrate on how you said something rather than what you actually said (or didn't say).
And here lies one of the hazards of 24 hour news and the reporting of speeches before they are actually spoken. If Mr Miliband had not circulated the text of his supposedly scriptless text-free speech, he might have got away with it. But he did not and has had to spend the day reading reports of what he had not said, appearing in broadcast news interviews trying to explain his omissions away, etc.
If I were asked, my advice would be to say that there's little to be gained from trying to memorise long speeches - unless you happen to be David Cameron performing in a 10 minute beauty parade for the Tory party leadership...
24 September 2014
26 August 2014
The Independent newspaper described Alex Salmond's performance in last night's leader's debate as 'energised' - which is surely bad news for Alistair Darling and the Labour Party.
One of the big questions about the debate to me is why did David Cameron and the Tories allow an experienced former Labour cabinet minister lead the Better Together campaign - when the loss of Scotland, legally complicated though it would be, would mean that Labour might never again form the government of the residual UK. In fact, why are the Conseratives opposing Salmond & Co. at all, I wonder?
Then there's the question of what the long term point of a Scottish National party be if they actually win the referendum on independence?
I'm not too keen on the idea of an independent Scotland, in spite of my Scottish ancestry, but I do wish someone would answer some of these rather obvious questions.
P.S. I've just noticed that they both seem to be speaking at the same time in this picture. Is violating the most basic conversational rule of all - one speaker at a time - a sure way to impress your audience???
21 July 2014
Next month marks the 10th anniversary of this book of mine.
Suggestions on how best to mark it - e.g. with another book based on this blog and/or what - will be very welcome.
10 July 2014
Whether you voted Labour (and I didn't), Conservative (and I didn't) or Liberal Democrat, Labour's Attendance Allowance was a brilliant move that the Con/Lib Dem coalition has, in their own interests, preserved. The big question now is: which of them plans to boast the most about it at the next election???
9 July 2014
4 July 2014
Max Atkinson wonders whether the BBC is recommending that 4th July should also be a national holiday in the UK???