The Liberal Democrats are now officially the most unfunny party in British politics. Have a look at Sarah Teather in action at their conference.
After she had finished, there was hardly a dry set in the house. Even her worst enemies could not bear to watch this self-immolation disguised as a speech.
Her material was ill-conceived, badly written, inadequately rehearsed and disastrously delivered. And it just wasn’t funny. This performance will greatly harm her political and presentational image.
Politicians love gags because a good one only takes a few seconds to deliver and can generate intense laughter followed by a storming round of applause. It is therefore more likely to get on the news than an entirely serious passage that could take more than a minute to get a single point across.
However, an effective gag requires very careful calculation which was totally absent during the Teather Tragedy.
There are 3 rules that politicians should follow so as to avoid Humour Horror during Party Conference Season
1. The concept behind any gag should be universally funny enough to appeal to the world beyond the Party Faithful in the Conference Hall.
2. The material has to precisely worded and ruthlessly rehearsed in front of a coach who has a professional ear for what will work under pressure.
3. It must pass the Clanger Test. It should be run past a group of experienced colleagues with sensitive ears who can tell you bluntly if it strikes a jarring note.
It will always be easier for us to make fun of politicians than it is for politicians to be funny themselves. And that is just how it should be.
The only way to guarantee that one of your speeches is funny is to hire an expert. Like me.
The rules are different for business speeches, contact me, Graham Davies if you would like more information on coaching.