Jeremy Corbyn Conference Speech

By Andrew Ivey | Speeches

Sep 29

It's been a two week whirlwind for Jeremy Corbyn since he was elected as Leader of the Labour party. And this Jeremy Corbyn conference speech at the party conference in Brighton suggests that whirlwind is only just starting.

His speech style and tone is distinctly at odds with immediate previous Labour leaders. It is personal and it's his. We'll see whether it changes with time.

His introduction set the scene, quiet and unassuming, yet tough and obdurate. That appears to be a characteristic.

His sense of humour came through loud and clear as he referenced his starring role in media stories since his leadership election. If honesty and truthfulness were virtues in a politician, then this might just sound honest.

With his introductions completed the new leader set to with his leader's speech. We heard, as expected, a series of attacks on the Tories. Quite so. That's his job.

His rhetorical techniques are not those of legend. But his dramatic changes of pace and the gentle quiet tone he can affect at times are noteworthy. We'd expect that these will become his hallmarks in future speeches.

Conference Speech Writing

His speech did appear well-written, if slightly disorganised. It's become obvious in the last few hours that much of his speech could be attributed to the professional speech writer and political strategist, Richard Heller. In his blog Richard offered key sections of a speech for wider use. Apparently this was after his contributions were rejected by Ed Miliband.

I can't for the life of me see the problem with this. Richard Heller or another speech writer? It was a choice made pressing by the two week gap between being elected leader and the Party conference. Many party leaders dedicate their summer recess to speech writing for conference. That wasn't a luxury available to Mr Corbyn.

Mr Corbyn is nowhere near fault-free with his set-piece speeches. We heard plenty of stumbles, but he masked them with immediate pauses. That's a great strategy when your enthusiasm for your words has you getting faster and faster. 

As a set-piece speech this is unlikely to be remembered in years to come. But more importantly, for everyone, this speech introduced the country to the new Labour leader. A new voice and a new style.

When you need some help with your next conference speech, you can always organise a one-to-one coaching session to get you ready. You can call us when you are ready to discuss.


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+