I see The Age has finally caught up with our prime minister and his slow, monotone delivery. A piece in yesterday’s Sunday Age showed how he now speaks 100 words a minute slower in media interviews than when he was in opposition.
His rate today apparently is 108 words per minute, dropping from 216 words a minute. Normal speech is 180 words a minute.
The article quotes a Dr Cate Madill from the University of Sydney who thinks he has no “disfluencies”, that is, um, ahs and long pauses. To me, as a media trainer, he still has pauses and while the good Dr says his repetition is a good strategy to buy yourself time, it’s no good if you’re not changing the words. Merely repeating yourself two or three times in close proximity is a real turnoff for audiences.
I do agree with Dr Madill though when she says “the speech delivery of the nation’s leader resembles that of a puppet and is equal to the wooden communication style ridiculed in former prime minister Julia Gillard”.
I don’t know who is media training Abbott but I’d love to have a session with him to add some sparkle, oomph and briskness to his delivery.