Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Public Speaking'

Unaccustomed As I Am – Why Most Kiwi Blokes Can’t String Two Words Together

 

New Zealand. 1988. A television current-affairs show. Members of the public are given the opportunity to question people in the public eye. The host introduces the programme and that week’s guest, a Cabinet Minister. He invites the first question from Mr X, a 50-year-old public servant.

Mr X begins by doing his impression of a possum caught in the headlights of a Mack truck. There is a terrible silence. The programme host is about to come to X’s aid when he finally produces a sound from his throat.

‘Eh… if eh… the eh… basic [he pronounces this bass sick, as in fish unwell] problem with the eh… country is eh… [he consults his notes] eh… inflation, why doesn’t the eh… Minister take a eh… tougher line with the eh… [consults his notes again] eh… trade eh… trade unions?

The nation breathes out. A Kiwi male has managed to complete a a 21-word sentence in under two minutes without panicking, throwing up or having a heart attack. It may not have been elegant, it may not have been pretty, but most of the words could be heard and some  could be understood. It’s a start.

It’s pathetic actually. I want to leap through my TV screen, grab them by the throat and throttle them till their brains engage and their thoughts tumble out of their mouths. I want to yell, ‘For god’s sake, man, spit it out! Can’t you string 21words together without falling apart at the seams?’

He can’t. Most Kiwi men can’t. The Kiwi male is the most inarticulate, the most incoherent, the most mumbling, stumbling, yammering, stammering, muttering, stuttering creature on earth. He is, as I say, pathetic.  Read the rest of this entry »

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