Mark Grimm


Kate’s First Speech: Good Start, Could Use a Teleprompter

Speaking make you nervous? Imagine the world watching your first try at it?

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, made her first public speech this morning (March 19th) and YouTube will be humming with millions and millions of viewers having a look.

Kate was nervous, of course, but she did a good job of keeping her nerves in check. She makes a spectacular appearance, with an unvarnished beauty and dignity. She followed one of the most important rules in speech making, keep it short. She spoke for just two and a half minutes.

To say the script was carefully crafted would be like saying Derek Jeter likes baseball. One can only imagine how many revisions went into it. The content hit the right notes — gracious, humble, a personal aside about her husband, calling the hospice a family home. Precise enunciation was a part of it, too.

The delivery offers the most opportunity for improvement. It was somewhat choppy —- look up, look down, look up, look down. Reading a speech causes that effect, of course. Some teleprompter training and the use of it would be an enormous help. The goal of any speech is to be conversational, not scripted, to appear as if you are talking with the audience, not at them.

It’s quite OK to play it a little safe in your first at bat. Kate Middleton as a speaker is a diamond in the rough. I look forward to her growth and the world does, too.

The writer is a professional speaker and Trainer of the Year.

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The Royal Wedding matters because we rarely celebrate wholesomeness

Yes, Americans should care about the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. We live in a culture that far too often celebrates misbehavior. Heck, Charlie Sheen actually went on tour to celebrate his. Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, Chris Brown — iccckkk. Why can’t we have a story where the headline is two famous people who love and respect each other and don’t look down on anyone. Well, actually we do. Prince William could easily have turned out to be a spoiled rich kid with a snooty air. To the contrary, he is a young man who joined the military not for the photo op, but to actually save lives as a rescue pilot. He has his mother’s heart and a respect for tradition you wouldn’t expect from someone twice his age. Kate Middleton is pure elegance, possessing a beauty and unassuming air that will serve her (and her country) well.

This is also about British history which, of course, is our history. No other country has left such an indelible mark on the American ethos. And no other country has been such a loyal friend to us. No other country is even close. No one is asking that you treat every wedding detail as a life and death moment. The details are the entertainment. But don’t let the moment pass without scoring one for the good in all of us. We could use the boost right now.