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Prince William, 38, and Prince Harry’s public speaking techniques couldn’t be more different a language expert has claimed. Expert and author Judi James analysed Prince William’s words during a recent podcast interview about his environmental Earthshot prize and claimed the future king and his younger brother Harry have very contrasting methods.
According to Judi, William is a “deliberate planner” who uses self-effacing language to convey “modesty” while Prince Harry takes “more of a battering ram approach”.
Judi told Express.co.uk: “Because these are William’s spoken words, rather than a written document or a speech, they are more telling about his thought processes and his authentic personality.
“William has always come across as a very deliberate planner and a bit of a worrier.
“Unlike the more spontaneous, act first – think later Harry, William’s actions tend to reflect concern for the consequences and how he might be perceived.
“What he shows here is a strong and passionate desire to create change and even challenge in the way that Harry might, but for William, it is combined with anxiety about doing and saying things in the right way.
“This leads to a tendency to make strong statements before some verbal back-pedalling.
“He sounds like an over-thinker, policing his own words as he speaks and then qualifying anything that might sound too controversial or critical.”
According to Judi, William’s awareness of his future role as king makes him more cautious than his brother.
The expert said: “Unlike Harry, who has recently taken more of a battering ram approach to creating urgent and even controversial change, making comments that have been criticised for being hypocritical or too lecturing in style, William is clearly aware of his future role as King and this seems to make him more empathetic and less judgmental in tone.
“Asked what makes him optimistic and what makes him outraged about climate change, Prince William said: ‘So firstly, I definitely believe in optimism.’
“William begins with this strong statement that he pins up as a headline to the rest of his ideas. It’s pretty lacking in anything bordering on controversy which is why he confidently adds the word ‘definitely’ for emphasis.”
William went on to say in the podcast: “I have to say when I was growing up I did feel that tackling things negatively was the way to go forward and trying to sort of push people into doing stuff. And saying, ‘Listen, these are really bad things you need to change this.’ But actually it doesn’t really work and there’s always a space for that.
William added: “You know, I don’t propose that nobody should be calling out things that are wrong, and saying people should change that for the better.”
Judi claimed William’s mention of having “grown-up” and changed his approach could be taken as a slight dig at his more impulsive younger brother.
Judi said: “There is a hint here that William is keen to show he used to be more like his brother in his approach, but before he ‘grew up’ and discovered it didn’t work.
“Is he putting some of Harry’s ‘changing the world’ techniques down as being a sign of immaturity?
“Even with his innocuous first statement, William appears to have worried himself here in terms of sounding critical of people who ‘push’ others and alarm bells might have rung about how he might have sounded critical of active campaigners like Harry and Meghan.
“He almost apologises here, back-pedalling by saying he doesn’t propose that ‘nobody should be calling out things that are wrong’ and narrows his scope modestly by saying he’s referring to his own personal experience.”
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According to Judi, William “back-pedals when he says: “…but personally in my work, and to give you one example, some of the work I did around the illegal wildlife trade, and very much the thinking and the advice at the time, and we spoke to people in China and in the Far East about how to raise this issue sensitively with them.
William adds: “To talk about cultural issues that are deeply rooted and very historical to a population. And they were all about the positivity and they were totally right. And the message when I went to China and talked to the Chinese government about trying to tackle the illegal wildlife trade was very much a case of, ‘How about you guys being the global leaders in conservation?'”
The Duke concludes: “You can take on that mantle and you can really drive it forwards’, and it’s a much easier conversation to have with someone.”
Judi claimed the way William talks about his work in China is “very smart”.
The expert said: “This is a very smart way to persuade and show that his methods are ‘right’, with William giving an example as proof of how a more positive approach can be effective, even in issues that are culturally sensitive.
“Like Harry, he places himself on a global stage talking to global leaders but acting in what is more of a psychologically-smart ‘nudge’ style rather than telling them off or lecturing.
“It makes him sound results-orientated rather than ego or power-driven.”
Addressing having “hard conversations”, Prince William said: “And it’s not about getting out of hard conversation, I’m very happy to have hard conversations, but an easy conversation where they can see what you’re getting at, they can understand the consequences and at the end of the day, the vast majority of people, if they are presented with the science and the facts, they will want to do the right thing.”
According to Judi, this wording sees William back-track again.
The expert said: “Again, William back-pedals slightly here, apparently worrying that his optimistic approach might be seen as weakness or a lack of courage and stressing the fact that, ‘I’m very happy to have hard conversations’ just in case he sounds weak.”
Judi claimed William seems to lay bare his “formula for dealing with his rift with Harry” when he says: “‘No one wants to do the wrong thing.
“And I think you’ve got to give people the opportunity to see the potential and the way forwards.”
Judi explained: “These two statements seem to come from William’s maturity and sense of empathy.
“They could almost sound like his potential formula for dealing with his rift with Harry.”
Judi claimed William “word-filters” as he speaks when he addresses what “outrages” him about climate change.
The Duke said: “And I get outraged by the inaction. “And that’s probably a bit of a cliche but that is what I get most troubled about.
“Especially as I’m in a position of responsibility, if you like, or leadership I feel like I can do a lot more given that ability. “So, therefore, I don’t understand why those who have the levers, don’t.”I think that’s what really upsets me and keeps me awake at night.”
Judi responded: “Again, there are reveals about William’s constant word-filtering as he speaks.
“He has been asked to speak on the themes of outrage and optimism and he has started with more and least controversial theme of optimism.
“Now he changes tone to define his own ‘outrage’ and he reserves this more critical word for himself.
“He speaks about ‘the inaction’ but when he says ‘especially as I’m in a position of responsibility or leadership’ he seems to confine any outrage as potentially aimed at himself if he weren’t taking action.
“This turning inward of the criticism is also peppered with apologies.
“He apologises for the cliché and he apologises for his use of the words ‘responsibility’ and ‘leadership’, adding ‘if you like’ to avoid making any assumptions of grandeur.
“Even his last statement about what keeps him awake at night begins with ‘I think’, suggesting a sense of modesty and self-analysis.”
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