‘I thought YOU were going to write the speech …’

Vital Speeches‘ Hong Kong correspondent Lorne Christensen alerts us to a story in the Hong Kong Standard that tells the true terrifying tale of every speaker’s—and every speechwriter’s—worst nightmare. It happened to Anthony Wu Ting-yuk, who is chairman of the Hospital Authority and head of the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre:

“Invited to give a luncheon speech on health-care reform by the Hong Kong Chiu Chow Chamber of Commerce at a city hotel yesterday, he arrived to find there had been a mix-up. The Authority thought the Foundation was supplying the speech and vice-versal. Result: no speech.”

In a recovery reminiscent of President Clinton’s 1993 healthcare speech to the joint session of Congress when the Teleprompter showed him the wrong speech, “Wu soldiered on and, using a combination of good memory and capable ad libbing, got through a 20-minute, unscripted speech in fine style.”

Let’s hope he took mercy on his communication team, who I’m sure will be holding a serious meeting on event-coordination sometime very soon.

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