The radio transcript below summarises an important
element of our approach to public speaking.
You can always practise delivering a written speech
with feeling and vocal light-and-shade, to make it sound interesting
But if you don't have the 'back-up' of the appropriately
crafted words on the spot, it can lead to repetition and 'over-talking'.
An historic event celebrating Australia's Centenary
of Federation marked 100 years since the first sitting of the Australian
The speeches given on this occasion by Prime Minister
John Howard and the then Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley drew
some interesting comment on the importance of prepared texts and
the impact of public speaking.
One such discussion was broadcast on the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation's Melbourne current affairs radio program,
hosted by Jon Faine.
Though this transcript dates from 2001, the issues
raised are still valid and relevant today.
ABC Radio Transcript
Friday, May 11, 2001 - Melbourne, Australia
Discussion on the speeches at the Centenary of
Federation Celebrations: The Prime Minister of Australia John Howard
versus the (then) Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley.
Speakers in this transcript are Radio Broadcaster
Jon Faine and Editor of the Melbourne Age newspaper Michael Gawenda.
The Prime Minister is very proud of the fact that he doesn't read
other people's speeches, he doesn't read a speech written for him
by a speech writer.
He has his own either mental notes or written notes,
but he speaks off the cuff, and he's very proud of that as part
of his political weaponry, and he insisted on doing that again this
week.......but it means that his speech, compared to that delivered
straight after him by Kim Beazley, didn't quite have the same impact.
I think that's true, Jon, and I know that the Prime Minister thinks
that...he's better speaking off the cuff than he is speaking from
a written speech, but the fact is, what that causes is that he repeats
the same things over and over again in the same way.And I do think
that what you tend to get is people switching off.
Reprinted with permission.
Read a selection of Aura Levin Lipski's articles: Click