At one stage or another as a business professional you’ll have to make a speech or presentation in front of a group of people. Sometimes it will be in front of a large group of people.
The chances are that you’ll probably feel a bit nervous as surveys consistently show that public speaking is one of the most feared aspects of business life.
Over my career I’ve been lucky enough to see some excellent presentations and have also seen some not so good presentations as well.
I’ve never seen a speech at the United Nations though but you would think that the speeches made at the UN, together with the delivery techniques of the speakers would be first rate.
India’s minister of external affairs did his country’s first speech since India recently began its 2 year term as a temporary member of the UN Security Council.
Mr Krishna, aged 78, is a very experienced diplomat and delivered a speech on the subject of security and development.
He took his notes and got off to a confident start.
It all suddenly started going a bit wrong though when after a couple of minutes he read out the phrase, “I’d like to express my satisfaction regarding the happy coincidence of having two members of the Portuguese-speaking countries”.
Further into the speech he then started stressing the importance of improved coordination between the UN and the European Union.
It was at this stage that a colleague interrupted him to advise him to stop reading as he had in fact mistakenly picked up the wrong speech and was reading the speech that had been prepared by the Portuguese representative.
So, the next time you are preparing a speech maybe it’s an idea to write your name in big capitals at the top of your notes.