"A hUachtarain agus a chairde" ["President and friends"]
Not quite "Ich bin ein Dubliner", perhaps, but the Queen's speech at the state banquet in Dublin Castle last night got off to a very good start by the simple device of following John F Kennedy's top tip for speeches to foreign audiences, namely use a few words in the local language.
The applause might have been slightly delayed (by one second) because there were so few in the audience who actually speak Gaelic. But, once they realised what it was, the ovation was enthusiastic enough to last considerably longer (by three seconds) than the 'normal' burst of eight seconds.
Given that so many of us native English speakers are so hopeless at giving speeches and lectures in any other language but English, it's not too difficult to mug up a few appropriate words from a phrase book as an opener. And, in my experience, it invariably goes down well enough with audiences to have been well worth the effort.
- The Queen's speech: an exception that proves the ruler
- Obama on Kennedy got more applause than 'normal'
- How to stay awake during a repetitive ceremony
- Delayed applause at a key point in Nick Clegg's conference speech
- Delayed applause in Vince Cable's speech (at same point as in Clegg's)
- More lessons from Vince Cable's speech
- Delayed applause for Ed Miliband's claims on the 'centre ground'
- Delayed applause for William Hague's boast about being in government
- Delayed applause, poor speech writing & delivery strike again in Osborne's speech
- Delayed applause for Cameron's government - from the Conservatives!
- BIG SOCIETY: little applause