Over the past couple of weeks, Phil and I have been watching “The Speaker“. (Note: if you haven’t yet seen the last episode, you may wish to skip over this post because spoilers are contained within).
We’ve really enjoyed it – I think it’s made quite compelling watching, seeing a bunch of young people develop their natural talent while trying their hand at various different styles of speaking!
I did highlight for me, though, the fact that public speaking is more an art than a science. Lord Earl Spencer, one of the judges, said that the content of the speech was the most important thing. I completely agree with what he said – if you’ve got nothing to say, then you might as well not say anything! Obviously the delivery is highly important as well, but I’d say the content was primary.
I think the judges made an interesting choice with picking Duncan as the winner. In the three finalists speeches, I think Duncan and Irene were the clear front runners. It seemed to me that Duncan’s speech – while he may have used a better turn of phrase than Irene – wasn’t quite as cogent and coherent.
Irene told a beautiful story which dealt 100% with her experiences in Malawi. In my (humble) opinion, hers was the best of the three. But one thing this does show for me is that there are many different ways of speaking.
As we were watching through the series, I felt like most of the youngsters were able to deliver good speech – even though they may have different strengths / weaknesses (and target audiences). As someone who is considering (well, actually, perhaps at this stage it’s more certain in that) a career in a type of public speaking – it’s been fascinating to look at the different ways they communicated.
Duncan may have won the competition, but I hope the others all go on with their speaking!