So it’s General Election time in the country of my birth.
Opposition candidates scramble to attend one of several “tv debates”.
They are highly regimented. Each hopeful cut off should they dare to exceed their allotted time.
Every such scrum seems to kick-off the same way.
The sixty second opening statement.
It struck me how blandly similar all the speakers were with this.
I wondered whether it wasn’t an opportunity wasted.
My structure has hardly altered since first learning about final, Board presentations two decades or more ago. Three core elements;
We’re here to set out the issue you want to resolve. Deduce the fit of my suggested fix. Then if we all like it, press the go button.
And off we trot.
None of the UK party leaders are natural speakers.
The rabid right might boast a brush with charisma from their anointed monarch. Yet he struggles to vary the tone and tempo of his delivery.
In many ways, the stuttering Green start to proceedings endeared herself to the audience. It is after all, only human to show a touch of nerves.
Arguably the pitch with the most expensive conusltancy design belongs to the incumbent Prime Minister. A quick examination of his format reveals that my trio has an (unsurprisingly) added component. Namely the trashing of competition.
“Five years ago, this country was on the brink…”
A warning shot start is followed up with a description of what was wrong, what’s been done about it, and a result or two. He then rubbishes the alternatives.
“They were wrong then, and they are wrong now”. With detail aplenty. Next he suggests what he feels is “the choice” at this election. Before the closing call to arms.
“I say, let’s not go back to square one. Britain can do so much better than that.”
Save the slating of competition – something I constantly guard against – the template is pretty much the same.
There’s not a lot wrong with it.
Nagging away at me was how it might be changed.
60 secs is a long enough time.
I chuckled when reminded of the Dom Joly open mic poetry sketch of the late-Nineties.
Trigger Happy TV at its viewed behind-the-sofa, through-the-fingers best.
What if all Cameron did was say his main mantra in this style? A dozen times, repeat “long-term economic plan”.
It would certainly stand out.
The left would pile in afterwards though.
Berate his innovation attempt for lack of respect.
The right no doubt would differ. Laud it for audacity and trying something ‘new’.
Still. I could imagine just a dozen bullets. Listed with practice, may well perk the ears in a manner the other six speakers would fail to achieve.
It would be a gamble though.
And this ‘accepted’ method seems one all sides are comfortable with.
But there is a Sales audit task for us from this.
How’s your next big meet sixty-second opener sound?
(You do have one, right… formulised, sculpted, practised…?)
Take out the jibes at other options, and does yours flow this way?
There’s lots of snippets around youtube like this one to compare shape with, but here’s the PM’s own from 2 April 2015;