Be timely, be brief, be expert

Queen's Address: Be timely, be brief, be expert

“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return”

The Queen, in her four minute address, Sunday April 5th, 2020

Over recent weeks, I have (and continue to) open my diary to offer myself as a Sounding Board to anyone wishing to talk and to sound out their thoughts on what comes now and, increasingly as time goes by, what comes next.

Communication is a recurring topic, so I find myself on call often give advice on the six questions key to any communication:

why, what, when, where, how, who

For today, one tip is to be:

  • Timely – what do people need to hear right now
  • Brief – keep it short, Newsletters of one page only, and yes, give links, but put the key takeaways right there on the page
  • Expert – this is a time to share relevant advice, insights, expertise.

A great example of this was in the live televised address the Queen gave on Sunday, April 5th. This was only the fifth time the 93-year-old monarch had given such an address in her 68 year reign. She focussed on what was timely, she spoke briefly (4 minutes), and she was expert, even referring back to her first national address, in 1940, as a child, speaking to other children at a time of war.

Wherever you are from, whoever leads your country, I commend this speech to you. As well as being reassuring and uplifting, this speech (transcript here) is a masterclass in leadership communications.


Also published on Medium.