Director General’s MacTaggart Speech Escapes the Editor’s Eye

By Andrew Ivey | Speeches

Sep 05
Mark Thompson, BBC Director General

Mark Thompson Delivers the MacTaggart lecture in Edinburgh

The annual MacTaggart lecture is often the highlight of the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Not least because the occasion is used by speakers to lambast the BBC.

Certainly that was the case last year when James Murdoch of Sky was the speaker.

This year’s speaker, Mark Thompson, the BBC Director General, took the opportunity to put things right and bash Sky.

This was a long speech by Thompson. Just like the BBC that he heads, he’s not short of material; much of it repeats. His approach, therefore, was to rush his way through his content speaking at a great pace. The result? many of his words were less than clear. Points were lost and arguments faltered as he rattled his way through the speech.

Reading mistakes were few. But his fast pace meant that his eyes typically looked at his script as he read the script aloud. He couldn’t look at his audience as he made each point.

I sensed that his speech would have been better with some editing. At 8,000 words this was a blockbuster of a speech. A BBC editor could have been commissioned to extract the nuggets and present a more worthwhile…and shorter whole.

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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+

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