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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