The latest in a seemingly unending series of reality TV programmes is The Speaker on BBC2. The format is unsurprising. A panel of three pundits chosen, presumably for their wit and expertise. In this case Jo Brand, not particularly funny here, Jerry Stockwell(who?) and John Amachi, very tall.
The contestants are teenagers who deliver the 60 second speeches they have sweated over. There are the obligatory cuts backstage to mums , who clearly know the words better than their offspring, and who suffer every forgotten line.
From a pitchcoach point of view , what was interesting was the way the pundits assessed the speeches.
Even though the contestants had clearly spent considerable effort in crafting and writing the speeches, the judges made virtually no reference at all to the content, the subject matter or the cleverness of construction.
They were looking for ‘inspiration’, ‘confidence’ and ‘conviction’. The better performers were complimented on their ‘energy and passion’, their ’emotion and warmth’, ‘storytelling, light and shade’, ‘presence and manner’ and so on.
In other words, confirming the often repeated here, ‘it’s not what you say, its the way you say it’.
For the record, my tips for success from the second programme, are Kim, who was superb in delivering her Rosa Park speech, and the delightful ‘Geek’.