As I've already pointed out (HERE), an ability to speak effectively to a mass audience isn't a necessary job qualification for an autocrat, whether hereditary or self-appointed.
So it's not particularly surprising that the best efforts of Mubarak, Gadaffi Junior and the crown prince of Bahrain have either done, or will eventually be shown by history to have done, them more harm than good.
This raises the interesting question of whether a good speechwriter could do (0r could have done) anything to save them - and has prompted this competition.
Either Write a short speech for the past or present dictator of your choice (or one of his relations) that would clear their streets of protesters and put a stop to their unreasonable behaviour once and for all.
Or Rewrite (and shorten) one of the speeches already given so that it would have cleared their streets of protesters and put a stop to their unreasonable behaviour once and for all.
Or - Twitter challenge: Since news of the competition was first posted, there have been a number of imaginative tweets of sound bites from such a speech. I've therefore decided to create a special class for 140 character Twitter entries (for which the 1st prize will be a signed copy of the shortest book I've ever written).
Deadline: 28th February 2011
Main Prize: Winning entry will be posted on this blog, and its author rewarded with a free copy of Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know about Making Speeches and Presentations, signed by the author.
Twitter Prize: Signed copy of Speech-making and Presentation Made Easy.
For inspiration: Dr Gadaffi comes to the rescue with a real 'tour de force'