26 September 2011

Ed Balls surfs applause - but don't expect to see it on primetime TV news

In his speech at the Labour Party conference earlier today, shadow chancellor Ed Balls had a go at 'surfing applause' (about 2.45 minutes into the above clip), a technique that's seldom mastered by anyone outside the top rank of political orators (for more on which, with examples from Tony Benn and presidents Obama and Sarkozy, see HERE).

Could this, I wonder, have had anything to do with prompting some rather favourable reactions on Twitter, such as this from @ JohnHigginson: 'Talk from the faithful is that Ed Balls, who has always suffered from a stutter, is becoming better at delivering speeches'?

I also can't help wondering whether it was deliberate and, if so, who taught him to do it?

But don't expect our broadcasters to let a wider audience see it on prime-news tonight. After all, that would mean giving Mr Balls far too much airtime and prevent the likes of Nick Robinson, Tom Bradby, Adam Boulton et al. from spending even more time telling us what he was talking about (for more on which, see HERE).


Anonymous said...

Nice to see Derek Draper leading the applause at the back of the hall

Tim said...

How do you lead applause from e back of a hall?

Anyway, disregarding the brave anonymous soul above, I thought of you Max when Balls successfully surfed the applause with his list of names (the name as applause line trick working nicely). Apart from the peroration (which ended prematurely) I thought it was a pretty textbook political speech, full of the rhetorical tricks of the trade. Some pretty impressive writing all told.

Edward Reynolds said...

We saw it on our Aus news.

But only because a childish presenter on a panel news show wanted to make fun of his name.