“I find doing speeches nerve-wracking.” This was what the Duchess of Cambridge told one of the guests after her speech on Monday, and it’s probably something many of us can sympathise with.
Attracting a huge amount of media coverage both here and abroad, Kate Middleton gave what was her first-ever public speech at the Treehouse – a children’s hospice in Ipswich, of which she is a patron.
While most of the focus was on what Kate wore (apparently a dress borrowed from her mother), and on comparisons to Diana, there was also some technical analysis of her performance. The Sky News Royal correspondent, Paul Harrison, even said that Kate had done so well that she had probably undergone some media or presentation training.
It does seem highly unlikely that the Royal family would let Kate make her first speech without plenty of coaching and preparation, and although she came across in the relatively short presentation as a little nervous, we’d certainly agree that she did a good job.
So, what did Kate do right?
1. Speaking clearly and slowly
Many of us tend to rush presentations – probably in an attempt to get it over with as quick as possible.
2. Attentiveness to crowd
Although she seemed to have notes in front of her, she ensured she looked up and addressed each section of the audience.
3. Good body language
She stood at a podium with an open stance – shoulders back and head up – but also used her hands to accentuate her points; all of which helped her to look more passionate about the subject.
Will Edwards is managing director of media training consultancy Bluewood Training