Last week the Duchess of Cambridge gave her first public speech. She was not just pitching to an adoring live audience but to countless viewing critics on television and You Tube. Any gaffe would be replayed endlessly. And the focus would not be on what she said, but how she said it.(Kate Middleton’s first pitch. )
She said it well.
She looked poised, she looked confident, she looked up and she smiled. Yes, she used notes but she has already almost mastered the knack of referring to them without reading and speaking at the same time. This irritating habit, adopted by a surprising number of politicians, makes listening almost impossible.
The knack is surprisingly simple but takes practice. In essence, you look at your notes, take in a few words, then look up and deliver them, then (after finishing them) look down and take in more words, then look up and say them, then… The pause to refer is seen more as a pause for thought than an interruption. Looking up at the audience means you are communicating!
Kate is not the only member of her family who is a pitching natural. One of the highlights of the wedding was the performance of her brother James.( A Lesson in reading. )The same coach perhaps.