Write It Down!
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 and meaningful.

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 Parliament.

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 here.

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