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321. The Rahul Speech – what it means & how to improve

April 4, 2013

The coming out party of Rahul Gandhi in the form of an address to the corporate tycoons was a mixed bag. It began with multiple goof ups but in the second part he salvaged it with a freewheeling Q and A which clearly points to two things. The man is full of ideas and he is restless with sincere passion.

The missing factors were:

Structure to the speech – starting with an outline and sticking to it would have made the speech stick in minds of people.

A big idea – sharing a bog idea and connecting the various anecdotes.

Practice – the speech would have been more memorable had he practiced by making the speech to an imaginary audience

Multiple speech writers – there were multiple themes coming out of the speech which were not coherent

Too many papers – imagine the impact of using either a tablet or one mastercard with all the points rather than shuffling pages

Smart water breaks – when moving from one idea to another it would have been good to take water breaks, just helps set the pace again

I also tweeted that he would have been better off referring less and less to Montek and Sam. Though the gathering was CII the entire nation was listening to the speech. Finally, since the strength lies in answering questions with confidence it would be better to have a shorter speech and take more questions. Answering questions with brevity in a crisp manner would be something to work on.

The strengths to build upon:

Frankness – there was no doubt that the speech-giver was oozing with humility and honesty, whether it was the style of dressing, the body language and the nervousness well hidden with a smart confidence

Storytelling – several references were made to stories of many people. Instead fewer longer stories would register better. Real life examples always work

Key Message – while there was a key message the lack of one idea and a solid theme made the key message drown. This is something to work towards sharpening for the future

Social Media presence – a verified twitter and Facebook presence is a must to ensure the ideas percolate down instaneously

More such outings – besides hiring a smart speech writer it would be good to hire a smart event manager who organises more of these at regular intervals

Not hitting below the belt – though they were stray references to ideologies there was no disrespect to any individual and that talks volumes of one’s upbringing

Lastly, I would rate the speech 6 on 10. And there is a long way to go to get to be 10 on 10. Some resources that could prove helpful are here –

How to make a good speech – great tips

3 Techniques Bill Clinton Uses To Wow An Audience

9 Techniques to Delivering a Speech with Confidence

10 Tips To Be A Great Public Speaker

 25 Public Speaking Skills Every Speaker Must Have

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