26 May 2009

Two tips for David Cameron after today’s speech on political change

I suppose it’s of the nature of the Open University that they’re a bit short on decent lecture theatres for speeches like the one David Cameron gave there earlier today. But I did think they could have done a bit better than to position his lectern in front of a distracting and rather unattractive bookshelf – distracting, because anoraks like me start trying to see which books are waiting there to be picked up and read.

The need to check on furniture and fittings before you make a speech is something I’ve commented on before after Prince William had to hover at the bottom of some stairs trying to hold his script in one hand and a microphone in the other.

The OU did a bit better than that, but if I'd been Mr Cameron or one of his aides, I’d have done my best to arrange for a rather more suitable backdrop than a few bookshelves.

One other thing he should be doing something about is that he’s still spending far too much time looking towards one side of the audience before looking in the other direction. On this occasion, it wasn’t quite as marked as it was in the video that can be seen HERE, but his gaze was quite often fixed in one direction for 11-19 seconds (i.e. too long) before being redirected towards the other half of the audience.

Given that his delivery is much better than the average currently prevailing among British politicians, it’s a pity he doesn’t do something about such a simple error that’s so easy to correct.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Erm no. It made a change to see a politician associated with books, and all they stand for, instead of the usual vaccuous slogans. We may be moving to a time when what he says has more importance than choice of shirt, backdrop or where he fixes his gaze. I live in hope.

Working Class Tory said...

That is not a bad point, anonymous.

The Welsh Jacobite said...

I second Anonymous.

Indeed the books send a useful counter message to the cynical view that Cameron was presenting a hastily cobbled together ragbag of proposals driven by panic or opportunism: they say, "No, there is thought and intellectual depth behind what this man says."

(N.B. I am not adjudicating on the truth of either perspective!)

Anonymous said...

Looking to one side for "11 to 19 seconds"?!!

You mean you actually spent some of your precious moments on this Earth TIMING that stuff?

My heart just sank a little reading that blog...

pintosal said...

Anonymous, you may think it strange that Max "actually spent some of his precious moments on this Earth TIMING that stuff", but I couldn't possibly comment.
You are missing the point!
Before Max came along and carried out this sort of research, which involved getting out a stopwatch and timing applauses, no-one could say with any justification why a speaker was "successful" or what do we mean by "success".
You might just as well say that Gregor Mendel was wasting his time looking at pea plants.