Billed as a campaign speech, it sounded more like a presidential address. Donald Tsang Yam-kuen launched his 'bid' to become chief executive with a carefully crafted and highly polished presentation. He strived to reach out to the whole community and pledged to work with the people to forge a better future for Hong Kong. Mr Tsang has raised expectations. Now, he must deliver. This was not an ordinary campaign speech. Our political system is such that Mr Tsang - backed by Beijing - will be the only candidate with a realistic chance of success. The platform he unveiled yesterday therefore takes on more importance. It provides some insight into the way in which Hong Kong is likely to be governed for at least the next two years. Mr Tsang was keen to put his political skills on display. The performance would not have been out of place in rather more hotly contested election campaigns overseas. There was the obligatory public kissing of his wife and the handshake with his campaign manager. A new, cleverly designed bow-tie logo added a little extra style. The careful presentation extended to his two speeches. There were many fine-sounding turns of phrase. He even borrowed a line from Winston Churchill. It was all very different from the days of his predecessor, Tung Chee-hwa, who often appeared uncomfortable in public and admitted he lacked political skills. Style is important - but it can only get an aspiring leader so far. What about the substance? Mr Tsang strived to reach out to the whole community - with an eye also on the international audience. The English version of his speech was longer and more detailed than the one he delivered in Cantonese. Mr Tsang was at pains to highlight his relatively humble origins and to stress that he had lived the Hong Kong dream. He was, no doubt, aware of complaints from some quarters that he is arrogant. Modesty and humility got a mention - along with pride. Core values Mr Tsang said many of the right things in his speeches. He expressed his determination to protect Hong Kong's freedoms and core values. He pledged that his administration would be inclusive - consensus would be the key. Good governance, Mr Tsang rightly argued, will depend on giving the people more of a say in policy-making. Reform of the government structure, particularly the Executive Council, appears to be on the way. He even vowed to combat pollution. That is all good to hear. There was one notable departure from the approach adopted by Mr Tung. Mr Tsang, like his predecessor, noted that it was important for Hong Kong to trust the central government. But unlike Mr Tung, he also stressed the need for Beijing to trust the Hong Kong people. This needed to be said. It is in keeping with the dual function to be served by the chief executive, who is accountable to both. Mistakes Mr Tsang was less persuasive, however, when dealing with the past. He urged Hong Kong to move on - and not to dwell on the mistakes of the past eight years. That would be most convenient for the former chief secretary. But there is no easy escape from his association with the government's past failures. This was apparent when Mr Tsang took questions from the media after his speech. His charm quickly gave way to irritation and impatience when faced with a question about the controversial Cyberport project. Mr Tsang was at his most unconvincing when fielding questions about the June 4 crackdown and hopes for universal suffrage. His unease - and vague answers - showed how difficult it will be to make good on the many promises made in his speeches yesterday. He should, however, be given credit for treating the election like a genuine contest. Mr Tsang's manifesto set out details of his policy programme. The veteran civil servant has also promised to meet and greet the public and to take part in election debates. This will not affect the outcome of the poll but will help the community understand what their new leader has in store for them. It could provide him with some much-needed legitimacy. It is easy to forget that there are two other aspirants for the job. Democratic Party chief Lee Wing-tat and maverick lawmaker Chim Pui-chung are both struggling to get the 100 nominations needed to stand. The prospect of Mr Tsang being 'elected' unopposed is becoming increasingly likely. That makes it all the more important that he takes the opportunity to face the public now and make his intentions for Hong Kong clear. Mr Tsang referred to his rather unglamorous past as a junior salesman - before he launched his long civil service career. Judging by yesterday's performance, he has not lost any of his salesman's skills. Now, it is his vision for the city that is in the shop window. Hong Kong people will be tempted to buy - for now. But they will want a manufacturer's guarantee. There may be a desire to return the goods if it turns out they do not work. That is the challenge now facing Mr Tsang. The speeches were good and the presentation slick. But turning the vision into reality will require a great deal more.