David Cameron’s Diplomatic Speech Sets the Tone for Indonesia Visit

By Andrew Ivey | Public Speaking

Apr 14
Diplomatic speech by David Cameron in Indonesia

David Cameron's diplomatic speech in Jakarta

His speech at Al Azhar University on 12th April certainly seized the media’s attention, but David Cameron’s earlier speech of the day was a diplomatic masterpiece.

Sharing a speaking platform with Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono, Mr Cameron’s speech combined all the elegance of a traditional diplomatic speech with the modern business-talk trappings of the jet-setting diplomat. And he fits that mould of course with a programme that’s taking in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar.

The opening remarks to his speech set the tone of mutual support, as news filtered through of the Aceh earthquake:

Britain, of course, stands ready to help if help is required, and we will stand with you, with your government, and with your people at this time of worry.

His speech contained frequent references to President Yudhoyono and his leadership; a critical technique in any speech with diplomacy at its core.

Mister President, under your leadership, Indonesia has continued a remarkable transformation into one of the world’s fastest growing economies.


President Yudhoyono and I share both objectives.

But the diplomatic speech isn’t just about platitudes. It’s about shared interests, geo-political interests such as Syria and trade interests. Mr. Cameron’s speech noted the Syrian situation and foresaw “a day of reckoning” for Assad’s crimes.

But it was matters of trade that appeared to top the Prime Minister’s agenda in this speech. And he made that very clear with an invitation to President Yudhoyono to come to Britain on a State visit.

This will be during the very special Diamond Jubilee year, and I believe it’s a mark of the importance we attach to this relationship.

With only a passing reference to “Islamic countries,” this was an unremarkable speech, but a very diplomatic one. His speech at Al Azhar University, later in the day, was less so.

Yes, Please

Get The Newsletter Today

Telling It Straight is our very own public speaking tips newsletter. Packed with skills tips to help you with your next speech, why not receive it this month?


About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+