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  • Boris Johnson Resignation Speech Ends Tory Leadership

I'm old enough to remember when a resignation speech from a British Prime Minister was a rarity. Not least because they served their elected terms in full. But now Prime Minister resignations are more frequent. And it's not caused by climate change. So we had David Cameron's resignation speech in 2016 when he realised he'd lost a referendum vote quite spectacularly. Then in 2019 we heard a Theresa May resignation speech after she was caught out by the electorate at the local and European elections. And now, of course, it comes full circle for the villain of Brexit and we have a Boris Johnson resignation speech.

Johnson resignation speech

Prime Minister Johnson Resignation Speech (Picture by Kyle Heller / No 10 Downing Street, Flickr.com)

It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister, and I've agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week.

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Brief Johnson Resignation Speech Hits The Spot

This Boris Johnson resignation speech was short and to the point. Yet, in his own inimitable style he managed some sly digs at the nefarious activities going on around him.

And in the last few days, I've tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we're delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we're actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in midterm after quite a few months of pretty relentless sledging and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally.

and, he wasn't done…

I want to thank the wonderful staff here at Number 10 and of course Chequers, and our fantastic prop force detectives, the one group, by the way, who never leak.

An Effective Speech In Downing Street

In all, this was an effective resignation speech. Yes, it's true that he didn't sound overly contrite But he managed to tick all the right boxes. His detractors still expected more humility from the Prime Minister. That wasn't going to happen as most leaders don't grovel when they're deposed in these circumstances. Bizarrely he didn't mention the words "resign" or "resignation" in his speech. Odd? Who knows?

How To Give Your Resignation Speech

When you're ready for a resignation speech here are some tips for an effective speech.

  • Be brief, because there's really no point in going on and on. It's over.
  • Manage your stage. Consider whether you need a microphone, podium or lectern to speak to your audience. Ensure that background noise, such as Steve Bray outside the gates of Downing street, is subdued.
  • Be scripted. You can help yourself with a script or cue cards for this type of speech. You'll stick to your message, follow the right course and keep to time.
  • Practise and rehearse. You really don't want to mess up your final speech in this role.
  • Thank everyone. Yes, it's vital and always works a treat with everyone in your team.

You can always review our series of public speaking tips when you want help with a resignation speech. And, when you are ready for some more serious public speaking training or public speaking coaching, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can offer public courses and coaching at more than 40 training centres. And, additionally we can even train your team at their own premises with our corporate training packages.


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About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Now based in London, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK.

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