Analysis Of Ed Miliband’s First Speech As Party Leader

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A perfect use of the old ‘rule of three’ in a political speech by Ed Miliband last year.

The rule of three involves the repetition of a key word, phrase or point, or sometimes even the use of three words beginning with the same letter or sound during a speech.

Doing this helps to emphasise key points, increase impact and make your speech more memorable. Ultimately you want your audience to remember your key points and if your points are made easier to remember by implementing the rule of three, its more likely your audience will recall your message and spread the word!

Check out from 0:52 when Ed Miliband talks about the new generation of Labour being different: ‘Different attitudes, different ideas, different ways of doing politics.’

Then also take a look at 2:50 onwards – ‘Optimistic about our country, optimistic about our World, optimistic about the power of politics’. At this point the rule of three helps Ed Miliband to make a strong conclusion to his speech and leave a key message in the minds of his audience. Top stuff.

What’s not so great about this speech?

Ed Miliband is hidden behind a lectern – its hard for him to convey huge amounts of emotion or passion from this position using his body. Instead, he has to settle with bending forward slightly as he becomes more passionate, which ends up just looking a little odd and off-putting for the audience!

Ed’s hand is also a little all over the place. The free hand is traditionally used by British politicians to emphasise key points – Tony Blair was a master at this. In Ed Miliband’s speech his hand is used at some very random times – at points when he doesn’t need it to emphasise or back-up his words. For example on the word ‘be’ near the beginning of the speech. As the speech goes on the hand movements improve and are incorporated well into the ‘optimistic’ conclusion mentioned earlier.

Anything else?

Take a look at 0:30 in to the video and see how Ed states ‘some people think I might be more left wing than him’. Which way does Ed step after this? To his right! Coincidence, subliminal messaging, unconscious reaction? You decide.

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Rich Watts is the UK Business Speaker of the Year and a past JCI National Public Speaking champion. He setup and now runs Rich Public Speaking providing presentation skills and public speaking training.

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