Can you speak without being prompted?

Apparently not everyone can, and that includes some who have made speaking their particular speciality. The somewhat annoying film director and producer Michael Bay recently agreed to provide a public endorsement of a new Samsung television. However, at the launch event the teleprompter failed, and so did Mr Bay, walking off the stage. Watch it here.

Genuine public speaking is becoming rare, but perhaps the time has come to reinvigorate it.

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6 Comments on “Can you speak without being prompted?”

  1. MunchkinMan Says:

    He obviously had or still has nothing to say about the Samsung product (at least not in public). Perhaps at the time of the launch he was dreaming about his next explosion epic which diverted his attention. Who knows: he might include a Samsung TV or a teleprompter as props (to be exploded) in his next film?

  2. Anna Notaro Says:

    Personally, I always find it tastless when human frailties are object of mockery – not in the case of this post, but in some comments online- the director of The Transformers might not be an auteur, and yet why expect from him skills his job does not necessarily demand? Also, why do we keep putting such a premium on public speaking without a prompt as if reading from a personal or fully endorsed script might just be as heartfelt and sincere? In an age when ‘communication’ is delivered on so many different platforms, virtual and not, the enduring admiration for oratory skills is fascinating, almost as much as the return of vynil or of vintage hair styles like the “comb-over”🙂


    • Actually it seems bizarre to me that someone who spends a lot of his time on the public stage cannot speak on it, or even attempt to do so, unless someone gives him the words.

      But that wasn’t my point. I think speaking as a form of personal expression, as distinct from a form of prepared acting, could do with some reinvigoration. This would be particularly useful in politics, where we now get very few genuinely thoughtful statements.

      • MunchkinMan Says:

        Rhetoric used to be taught to grammar school & university students of old. In the present case I feel that the man’s ego got the better of him, clouded his judgement into accepting the invitation to speak, therefore leading to his unfortunate faux pas…He was free to accept the invitation to speak and should have been better prepared.

      • Anna Notaro Says:

        There is public stage and public stage, a director might be well prepared to answer journalists’ questions relating to his last movie at a press conference and less prepared (or skilled) to improvise a product endorsement, although better preparation upon acceptance should have been the case, as MunchkinMan notes below. However, the main point is that you are attributing excessive qualities of ‘genuine thoughtfulness’ to speaking over any other type of expression. Excellent orators were also excellent dictators and, as I mentioned above, sincerity is not the prerogative of one medium in the field of politics or else. Ultimately, one should not mistake the *perception* of conveying a genuine thoughtful statement with the reality of it.


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