Crowds who listen to politicians.

The human mind can process 500 words in a minute. The fastest speakers can manage only 150 words in a minute. The mind is, therefore, largely idle during most speech occasions.

  1. Reading politician vs browsing politician

When was the politician you saw your MP/women representative/Senator/Governor read a book? Better yet, take a picture of him/herself next to a bookshelf or even holding a book? Great leaders are readers. Research. Take time.

2. Out of touch with peoples’ needs

When you are out of touch with the daily needs of the people you represent or are talking to, your speech will be FLATTER than a pancake. No soul to resonate with your listeners. A good speech must have background research of the expected crowd and what they would love to hear. This is why one politician will receive acclamation from the people, and another No response. Be true.

3. Copying the person who just spoke

Have you heard three politicians speak at a meeting, and you can almost draw 20 similarities from their content? You then wonder, why shouldn’t one person just speak if they all repeat the same message. An intelligent speaker will be unique in their content. Be yourself.

4. Delivery matters

How do you serve your speech? How do you grab the listeners attention from start to finish? With Bwana Asifiwe? With a wave of the hand? How do you use your body? Seconds of silence to allow listeners to digest a key point of your address. Use of questions to engage the mind of the listener. Package well.

5. Language prowess wanting

Politicians in the Coast will speak in Swahili with so much ease, intertwining their speech with powerful saying to the jubilation of their hearers. Some politicians like Laikipia Women Representative Cate Waruguru and Bomet Women Representative have a knack when it comes to speaking their mother tongue, Kikuyu and Kalenjin respectively. Crowds will keep quiet and listen when you speak in the language you have mastered and they understand it.

6. Voice projection and strength, zero!

Even when using a microphone or in a TV/Radio studio project your voice powerfully. Listeners are always put off by a weak speaker. Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa has a booming voice, and that is one of her strengths when it comes to delivering her fantastic and thought-provoking speeches.

7. ‘Not Working’ the crowd

Make the crowd part of your speech. ‘Work’ the crowd. Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga is great when she speaks to students. She starts her speech by ‘Comrade Power’ to the excitement of her listeners as they feel she understands them. Some ‘work’ the crowd by having them wave at a certain point during the speech. Get the audience involved in some way.

8. The speaker must enjoy his/her own speech

The audience will absorb the energy you emit during your speech delivery. If you are having fun and enjoying yourself as you speak, the audience will equally enjoy it. However, unless you are confident have the right content, language and grab the listeners attention, you cannot enjoy the speech. Instead, you will be fearful and seemingly people will not believe what you are saying.

In conclusion, 25-30 minutes is a long speech, 15-20 minutes is a medium one and 7-10 minutes is a nice short speech.


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