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Public speaking

What can you learn from great speeches? Prince Charles

Prince Charles is a public figure with whom we, the British nation, have had an ambiguous relationship over the years.

But on Monday at the Diamond Jubilee concert he delivered a speech which I think will have changed a lot of peoples’ minds. Why? Because it changed mine – a bit. And life has taught me I am not unique.

Let’s look.

‘Your Majesty…Mummy.

A killer opening. 90% of the impact of the whole speech is in that third word, “Mummy”. He has punctured the pomposity of the event with that most innocent of words, and made it personal and human.

I am sure you would want me to thank, on your behalf all the wonderful people who have made today possible. All the performers, the artists, the musicians, the comedians that made such jolly good jokes, Gary Barlow for helping to make the whole thing possible. And all those remarkable technicians all 600 of them behind the scenes without which nothing would happen.

People like to be thanked. People like people who are grateful. People like people who can take a joke. And never forgetting the behind-the-scenes people. That’s us isn’t it?

And if I may say so Your Majesty thank God the weather turned out fine. And the reason of course is because I didn’t do the weather forecast.

I can laugh at myself.

Your Majesty, millions we are told dream of having tea with you. Quite a lot nearly had a picnic with you in the garden of Buckingham Palace. The only sad thing about this evening is that my father could not be here with us because unfortunately he was taken unwell. But ladies and gentlemen if we shout loud enough he might just hear us in hospital and get better.

Prince Charles giving a shout out.

Your Majesty a Diamond Jubilee is a unique and special event. Some of us have had the joy of celebrating three Jubilees with you. And I have the medals to prove it. And we are now celebrating the life and service of a very special person over the last 60 years.I was three when my grandfather George VI died and suddenly, unexpectedly, you and my father’s lives were irrevocably changed when you were only 26.

He turns back to the serious stuff, but it’s all real isn’t it? This happened to a ‘real’ family. His grandfather died, and his mother and father’s lives changed for ever.

So as a nation this is our opportunity to thank you and my father for always being there for us. For inspiring us with your selfless duty and service and for making us proud to be British. Proud at a time when I know how many of your fellow countrymen are suffering such hardships and difficulties. Proud to be lining the banks of the Thames in their millions, despite the rain and the cold. Proud to be part of something as unique as the Commonwealth, which through your leadership has given us that essential sense of unity through diversity.

A very well written passage. Understanding the recession affects most of us, without trying too hard, and focussing on pride – the emotion that those lining the river felt. A feeling probably amplified by the weather. We’re British! We don’t mind a little rain!

So Your Majesty we offer you our humble duty and with it three resounding cheers.

Very well written, and beautifully delivered.

It’s short – brevity is great!

It’s personal and human.

It’s amusing.

It says what it needs to say and stops.

Do you think I’m right. That a very short speech can have a real impact on a nation’s perception of Charles?

Let us know….


About gristpresent

Presentation, Q&A and Engagement Coach. We help you win more business. Also BAFTA-winning film maker. See our new site www.grist.co.uk


One thought on “What can you learn from great speeches? Prince Charles

  1. Brilliant speech…..very touching and the word “Mummy” was wonderful….made him so real…just like the rest of us!!

    Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2012, 2:30 am

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