If you dread public speaking, spare a thought for PNoy who had to deliver not one but five speeches in two days during his visit to Sydney. Michelle Baltazar witnessed all, bar one, and made notes on what made his speeches moving and unforgettable.
While he was in Sydney, he gave not one but five speeches over two days, all of which had a common theme: to draw attention to the new-and-improved Philippines.
His speeches lasted no more than 10 minutes (one lasted less than three minutes), but all of them powerful in their own way.
Tip no. 1: Share something personal
In his first speech on arrival in Sydney, President Noynoy Aquino shared a personal experience close to his heart – the unjust treatment of the Marcos Government towards his family and his family’s supporters during the martial law years.
“And the connection with Australia is this: My parents had a very good and dear Australian friend. He cooperated, conspired with my mother to finally smuggle this person out of the country. And, as a very young kid, I do recall going to the airport not meeting anybody, not sending anybody off, looking at this plane, and ensuring that this person did manage to leave the country. He stayed there for a few years; moved on to America and is still alive at this present time. If it were not of this Australian friend, he would have been perhaps not be with us this day.”
For the full transcript, go to http://www.gov.ph/2012/10/25/remarks-of-president-aquino-at-the-lunch-hosted-by-premier-ofarrell-in-sydney-october-25-2012/
Tip no. 2: Be specific
PNoy endeared himself to the Filipino-Australian community by talking about the improvements his Government has implemented in the two years that he’s been in office. What makes his speeches even more effective is that he follows up his sweeping statements with specific details on his achievements or initiatives.
“The workforce must likewise remain healthy. When my administration assumed office in 2010, we had a mere 62 percent of the population enrolled in our national health insurance program; right now, we are at 85 percent. We are working hard to have our allies in Congress pass Sin Tax reform legislation, which will effectively address funding gaps so that Universal Healthcare becomes a reality for all by the end of my term in 2016.”
The above quote was from his second speech on the same day, this time at the meeting with Asia Society Australia and the Australia Philippine Business Council, for the full transcript, go to http://www.president.gov.ph/speech/speech-of-president-aquino-at-the-meeting-with-asia-society-australia-and-au-phl-business-council-october-25-2012/
Tip no. 3: Give credit where credit is due
Community initiatives are often a thankless task. The amount of time and resources spent on any project is often overlooked by those who then benefit from said project. But what heads of state are good at, including PNoy, is using his speech as a platform to direct attention on those that deserve acknowledgment.
For example, in the unveiling of the Rizal Park in Campbelltown, PNoy heaped praise on the people behind the Rizal Park Movement (including the Knights of Rizal) and the Government of NSW for supporting the Filipino-centric initiative.
“At the core of today’s event is the civic spirit displayed by the Rizal Park Movement of Campbelltown. With the support of various groups, as well as associations and individuals here in Australia and in the Philippines, the Movement has worked hard with the Campbelltown City Council to translate this Park’s 2008 master plan into reality. I commend all of you for your efforts, and I wish you success on your future plans to further enhance the facilities of the Park.”
The above quote was from his speech on his second and final day in Sydney, for the full transcript, go to http://www.gov.ph/2012/10/26/remarks-of-president-aquino-at-the-unveiling-ceremony-for-the-statue-of-dr-jose-rizal-october-26-2012/
Tip no. 4: A Pinoy joke never goes astray
All the top speakers do it: use humour to engage the crowd. PNoy was no different, particularly in his speeches delivered to the Filipino-Australian community. Below are just a couple of samples.
“Huling halimbawa na po, baka dahil mangilabot kayo nang sobra at mawalan na ng ganang mananghalian mamaya. Kami na ho ang bahala tutal naman po na-invest ko na ‘yung buhok ko sa pag-aayos nitong problemang ‘to; sosolohin ko na lang.”
“Sa mga ganitong pagtitipon, hindi ko po maiwasang maalala noong congressman pa ako. May bumisitang mga nursing students sa atin sa Kongreso; siguro po, nasa higit-kumulang 80 sila. Napatanong po ako, “Ilan sa inyo ang mananatili sa Pilipinas pagkatapos makapasa ng board exam?” Ang nagtaas ng kamay napakarami: Dalawa.”
Tip no. 5: Inspire others
Okay, so not everyone can afford a political speechwriter. But there’s something to be said about using public speeches as a way to genuinely influence and move people. PNoy did just that in the language that is music to our ears: Filipino.
“Makakaasa po kayong hindi ako titigil hangga’t hindi ko po nagagawa ang lahat ng aking makakaya para sa kabutihan ng ating kapwa Pilipino. Simpleng-simple lang po ang hangad ko: Sa June 30, 2016, bago po noon, bababa ako sa puwesto, at hindi ako mahihiyang humarap sa milyun-milyong Pilipinong nanalig sa akin dahil nagawa nating baliktarin ang kalagayang dinatnan natin.”
“Naninindigan ako sa patuloy ninyong pakikiisa, dahil hindi pa ho tapos ang ating laban. Samahan po ninyo ako: Isang bansa nating tahakin ang tuwid na landas, at isang bansa nating abutin ang katuparan ng atin pong mga pangarap. Ulitin ko po, sa inyo nagmula ang susi ng pagbabago. Ipagpatuloy po natin itong pagbabagong ito.”
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