Boris Johnson is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He gave a public speech in Downing Street briefing press regarding latest updates on the statistics of the global pandemic of coronavirus on May 11, 2020. This forensic paper tends to summarize and critically analyze Mr. Johnson’s public speech in terms of his way of delivery, audience response, and other public speaking skills.
In the public speech, Mr. Boris Johnson starts by greeting the audience. He provides statistical information related to Covid-19 by the ongoing testing and monitoring program by the government. He is giving a briefing for the next radical steps which are required against the eradication of the global pandemic. Mr. Johnson is using his newly formed slogan which says “stay alert, control the virus, save lives” during his briefing. He informs about the new Covid-Alert Level system to monitor the progress report of Covid-19. The British people have been shifted from level 4 of covid-19 to level 3 which is a positive progress. Mr. Johnson talks about the modification of precautionary measures. Steps are being considered to ease down the lockdown. The lock-down will be eased in three steps. After briefing on the three steps of easing the lockdown, the people are advised to stay alert and follow the standard operating procedures as much as possible. In the end, he advises people to stay alert and follow the precautionary rules.
In my point of view, Mr. Boris Johnson does not give an organized speech. The inclusion of visuals (e.g. graphs) to give the information about the statistics is a good technique to entice the audience to understand the statistical data. However, there are several critical aspects on which Mr. Jonson was lacking. The two styles inculcated in this public speech are demonstrative and informative. Mr. Johnson gives a weak and bland speech without any public speaking skills. He does not use any emotions or persuasive skills to attract the audience. It looks as if he is simply reading out his speech. The vocal pitch of Mr. Johnson remains static throughout the speech. He does not use high or low vocal pitch which is a negative aspect of every public speech. The tone lacked enthusiasm, energy, and activeness which bores the audience. He had very little eye contact with the audience which showed that he was simply paper reading his speech. Mr. Johnson did not use any non-verbal communication such as gestures to convey his message. The main requirement for giving any public speech is to be calm, confident, and self-assuring. However, Mr. Boris Johnson is missing these proponents in his speech. He pauses during his speech many times without any reason which shows that he lacks self-assurance and confidence. He is not prepared for his speech. He frames his speech as a simple conveying of information without any emotional connection with the audience. He does not state anything new or enticing for the people. He states what the audience already knows. As analyzed above, the audience’s response to Mr. Johnson’s speech is very negative. In a nutshell, Mr. Johnson’s speech is vague, weak, and lacks any public speaking strategies.
Johnson, Boris. “Coronavirus: Downing Street Challenge” Covid-19 Update @BBC News – BBC – (11 May, 2020) Accessed 2 Apr. 2021. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4XPeAE1M-w.