Theresa May’s speech: Disaster or Mission Accomplished?

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Theresa receives her P45

“There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about”. Oscar Wilde. With this in mind, Theresa May’s Public Speaking debacle is certainly being talked about. We have pretty set ideas in our minds about how a speech should go and the signs that it has been a success or a failure are clear, aren’t they? Surely, Theresa’s speech was a failure on so many levels? She was interrupted by a seriously well-prepared prankster who had a plan which could have shaken her from office. Theresa managed to carry on and the people at the conference gave a standing ovation for her efforts to continue. Do you think this weakened her popularity or strengthened it? Everyone is talking about it so that has to be very positive surely? If you ask Donald Trump, he will tell you that the only way to beat bad publicity is just to make more bad publicity.

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 08.21.45Was it set up? It is the first conference I have seen where the presentation platform is at the same level as the audience. It seemed almost deliberate that it was so easy for an imposter to get to the stage. There was no climbing required, no distance, no steps, no security and the imposter was only challenges once he had completed his mission. Look suspicious to you?

The moment where Theresa starts to cough is surely the end? As any decent public speaking coach will tell you, a dry throat is usually caused by the body’s natural fight and flight responses clearing your mouth of saliva, in order for you to run. Clearly the P45 episode had triggered that response and she started drinking water a little too late. Theresa’s vocal technique is one which does not use a clear voice and quickly buckles when she raises the volume or dynamic of what she is saying. Having been a secondary school teacher for a couple of years, I know that overblown, pushed vocal sound, anywhere. Her voice sounds damaged through incorrect support and over-pushing and bowing her vocal chords.

When Theresa started coughing, it triggered another standing ovation. Surely it was all over by now? Well – apparently not! Theresa completed her one hour speech and it will be remembered. It would seem that its content won’t be but maybe that is the point? Would you create a diversion if your content was a bit weak? I think I might try to create a distraction so people forget I had no real content.

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