Working on the details of a speech

We all make mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes they make it into the paper. Last week, "an underling" from the Ontario Securities Commission called a reporter at the National Post:

"to know whether the reporter had noted the exact times when [OSC Chair David] Brown started and stopped reading his speech.

The caller was asked why the OSC needs such bizarre information. Does Brown need an alibi for something?

The caller said Commission staff are timing Brown's speaking pace to determine whether it needs work.(sub. req.)

You'd think they would ask the event organizer first. Or even send one of their people to listen to the boss.

I suspect this is the speech. Quite an interesting opening, given that he was speaking to the national trade association for the Canadian mutual fund industry:

I stand here before you with a certain amount of trepidation. After all, I'm investigating you and the entire mutual fund industry, seeking to find out if you've been operating legally and with integrity.

I feel a bit like the skydiver who has just jumped from a plane at 10,000 feet only to discover that his parachute doesn't work and the backup is also jammed. As he's plummeting toward the ground, he sees a man rocketing upward toward him, looking a little singed. As the two men meet, heading in opposite directions, the skydiver shouts, “Do you know anything about parachutes?” “No,” comes the reply, “do you know anything about gas barbecues?”

Hopefully, by the time we have concluded our session this morning, we'll know a little bit more about each other … and both be able to leave the room, uninjured.

It's a good joke, but I don't know if the imagery completely works - for the regulator or for the industry attendees. It implies ignorance on one side, and victimization on the other.

Greg Brooks had a good pointer to a blog entry on confidence markers, those aural and visual cues so essential to effective public speaking.

Looking for more speechwriting help? Here's a nice colourful .pdf on writing and delivering a persuasive speech.

Inc. ran a six-part series on raising your profile by preparing and delivering effective speeches in 2001.