Taking aside any views on the content of Corby’s speech lets look at how he did from a public speaking perspective.
Introduction; As he entered, he greeted his shadow cabinet warmly and has perfected the classic poses of US politicians of waving and pointing to members of the audience and acknowledging them in time honoured fashion, “working the room” in a way he would not have dreamed about only a few years earlier.
He started well by thanking the workers, the people of Liverpool and the conference go-ers! A good appeal to his core audience to create instant rapport, connection and warmth.
He looked the part of leader, sober dark suit, crisp white shirt – gone are the days when Jeremy wandered around in rumpled pastels and a revolutionary cap!
His vocal delivery was very good, he covered the full range from loud and outraged “These are the human consequences of tax cuts over welfare”; to the quieter parts like “We must listen more and shout less”. The quiet and calm passages contrasted sharply with the more emotive phases, he delivered them confidently and they were impactful. He delivered key phrases with the right level of vocal intonation and power ensuring that some of the best phrasing of his speech writers like, “I will fight against racism with every breath I possess” were delivered powerfully. And credit to his speech writers, it was full of high impact rhetorical devices,
- Pairs and contrasts
“We must listen more and shout less”.
- Colourful phrasing
- Use of stories
The man who wrote in about his disabled wife, the mother writing about her son’s mental health
“You get on a train at Kings Cross and you don’t know who will own it by the time you get to Edinburgh”
All in all, Jeremy Corbyn as speaker has come a long way and whether or not you agree with his politics, his conference performance was very strong.