As I watched President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair speak side by side again, I thought how dramatically different their delivery skills are. Putting aside their words, Bush as always came across as defensive and negative. When not speaking, his mouth formed his usual half sneer. He leaned on the lectern, emphasizing this barrier between himself and the audience. He admonished listeners by pointing his finger at them to emphasize his points. (Didn’t his mother tell him that pointing was impolite?) As he concentrated, Bush narrowed his eyes and looked down at the audience condescendingly.
Blair, by contrast, appeared positive, open and forthright. He stood straight without using the lectern as a crutch. His gestures appropriately emphasized his messages. His eyes were open and his gaze was expansive, looking both up and out. Even leaving aside his intelligence and his command of the English language, he is a stellar example of a confident and polished speaker. He appears to speak from the heart.
It’s enough to make you want to join the Commonwealth.