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Clever Structure Helps Audiences and Speakers Too

Peter Verwer (pic)

Peter Verwer speaking at the National Press Club. ABC 24 frame-grab

Please forgive my cynicism, but you wouldn’t think the head of a national property council would give much of an interesting speech.

After listening to Paul Verwer’s recent speech to the National Press Club, I might change my view. Mr Verwer was exemplary. In passing, he proved you can speak well in business without slides and without a script.

Verwer’s green shirt and tie were a debatable distraction, but his argument was clear, reasoned, informed and interesting. He used fresh language, not the words of everyone else. He sounded like he cared, yet without histrionics. He used simple structural cues to help listeners grasp his topic, including the well-used, “There are three elements to my argument…” and the clever, “Let me define … in a verbal breakout box.”

In comparison, Robyn Archer’s impassioned, but scripted address a week later at the same venue looked almost bureaucratic.