One of the hardest parts of my classroom experience was listening to lecturers read out lectures from textbooks. It's like reading in another man's voice and pace. You make sense of nothing, seeing only an empty motion of lips.
Reading a speech is inherently self-contradictory. You make or give a speech, not read it. Making a speech is hard. The stuff of leadership, of effortless knowledge of subject—of emotional investment in the matter at hand. Speech making validates internal participation in the thought processes of an idea.
Over the years, African leaders have hardly caught the attention of the world in global gatherings. They address empty seats, reading fine, ponderous grammar written by PowerPoint bureaucrats. No sane mind has time to listen to a read speech, except when it is compulsory, like in lecture halls.
Read speeches are by nature punitive to both reader and hearer. Bumpy, vacuous, false! It is not for nothing that leaders who make rather than read speeches are the major talking points of journalistic review after global events. Even small nations earn attention when they present presidents with presence, oratory and aura. These things matter.
African leaders have no business at global fora if all they do is perform the part of news bulletin telecasts. This is a shame that has gone on for too long. Stay back at home and email your "speeches" to the participants instead and let them read for themselves. Have shame!
Post a Comment