22 September 2010

Delayed applause for the coalition in Vince Cable's conference speech (at exactly the same point as in Nick Clegg's)

After the Deputy Prime Minister's leader's speech at the Liberal Democrat's conference, I posted a clip in which the audience delayed for two seconds before applauding when he said that the party could not be expected to be taken seriously if they had not joined in a coalition government (HERE).

I also pointed out that a delay of anything more than one fifth of a second is likely to be heard by viewers/listeners as significant.

But today there was an even longer delay of three seconds before they applauded after Vince Cable, deputy leader and Secretary State for Business in the coalition government, said this about the coalition government:

"we must make sure that it's good for the Liberal Democrats as well."

Evidence of weak support for the coalition by LibDem acivists?
There are two reasons why this extended delay was potentially even more significant than the one in Clegg's speech:
  1. It was not only the third "it's good for" in a row, but was announced as the final one in the list by the word "and..."
  2. It only attracted a pitiful four seconds of applause.
As regular readers of this blog (and/or) my books) will know, audiences regularly applaud after the third item in a 3-part list - and 4 seconds is only half the 'normal' duration of 8±1 seconds for a burst of applause.

video

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