One sentence you do not want to hear, halfway through a 6,200-word speech:
And on that I’m going to ask people serve lunch, because I’ve got a lot to get through here. I’ve got a lot to share. So bring on the lunch: enjoy. …
(Other sentences you don’t want to hear: “Finally, I think I’ve done well to get this far in a speech as long as this, and for you all to still be in the room!” And, “So thank you all for your great patience in listening this afternoon.”)
And yet that’s exactly what Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said earlier this month to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia, in Perth.
Prime Minister, please trust me when I tell you: Speeches are not comprehensive communications. They are not omnibus opportunities for policy pontification. They are not the internet.
They are personal expressions. They are a chance for you to share your essential idea and show the core of who you are, to an audience that mostly wants reassurance that you have an essential idea, and that there is core of who you are.
And there is no call, in this fleeting earthly life of ours, to deliver a 45-minute speech. Even if you do feel compelled to orally justify everything your government ever did that vaguely affected the western half of Oz in hopes of shutting up those woopwoop-dwelling sandgropers for good and never, ever receiving an invitation to return.
That won’t work, either.