A hologram of Prince Charles gave a speech at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, connecting the form his speech with its content.
Not much has been said about what he said. It was something about alternative energy and technology. The hologram played the fiddle, but neither The Guardian nor the blogs that got their information from The Guardian story mentioned why. No one is saying much about what he said either. The comments are about a reference to a common “creator” that left people a little mystified.
The form was supposed to be echo the content of his message by reducing his carbon footprint by using new technology. But blogs have picked up the comment that the speech was still a bore.
Form and content is important in speeches, but not the way Prince Charles used it, since he failed because his message was lost. His speech gives me a reason to explain why I’m writing about speeches:
Public speaking (in the flesh) is almost and outdated form. It’s not ideal for transmitting information or for entertaining people. Speaking at podium is for winning some people over to a point of view and impassioning the ones who already agree, moving all of them. A speaker should walk this weird line between connecting emotionally and intellectually with an audience. I think it’s hard to do well, but I know it works and still happens. Obama, for example. Even small unimportant speeches deserve comment, because the power of standing up at a podium (or with a fiddle?) to say something is leaving yourself open to being criticized or held accountable for what you said.
To follow up on Friday’s post, Pamela Wallin’s speech at the Empire Club is now available on demand from CPac’s Website.