Hubert Ingraham - an effective public speaker

EDITOR, The Tribune.

I am always weary of aspiring leaders who try to convince us of things that they themselves cannot possibly believe. Recently, PLP Leader Perry Christie decried the "jokes" and "one-liners" contained in the Prime Minister's rally speeches. He described the Prime Minister as a comedian and unbecoming a statesman. Mr Christie is sufficiently knowledgeable about the art of public speaking that he must, in truth, admire Mr Ingraham's success in this regard. Mr Ingraham is no comedian.

Mr Ingraham is, in fact, technically a very effective speaker. Let us examine. As keynote speaker at his party's rallies, he is generally required to deliver a persuasive address. His objectives would be:

  • To persuade his audience to adopt his party's platform and ideas.

  • To excite his audience's needs, emotions and interests, using stories, anecdotes, humour and quotes.

  • To inspire his audience by appealing to noble motives and challenge them to demand high standards from their government.

  • To highlight specific programmes foreshadowed in the party's Manifesto.

  • To convince his audience to work toward achieving the party's vision and mission.

  • To convince undecided voters to support his party.

Throughout this entire campaign season, Mr Ingraham has consistently and effectively met these objectives through his rally speeches.

Seasoned and professional speakers understand that when delivering a long speech of any kind, to any audience, the biggest challenge is maintaining the audience's attention after the first fifteen minutes.

To overcome this, speakers use props and, yes, humour. This does not detract from the seriousness of the speech, in fact, if properly used, humour adds to the effectiveness of a serious speech. Mr Ingraham is a master at this.

Every time Mr Ingraham takes the lectern at FNM's rallies, he focuses on a different aspect of the party's Manifesto and, at times, on a different segment of the electorate.

His speeches are focused, deliberate and persuasive. To deliver four to five speeches a week to, essentially, the same audience is no easy task. It requires hard work and a master plan.

Mr Ingraham has so far realised considerable success in this area and this is why his rally speeches are so well received by both his supporters and detractors.

Mr Christie's criticism of Mr Ingraham's rally speeches is truly laughable. Mr Christie would do well to learn from Mr Ingraham.

Perhaps then, his audience would listen to him beyond the first fifteen minutes.



April 22, 2012.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment