What made Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's historic Harvard speech 'stressful'

The Prime Minister has revealed a serious technical malfunction happened repeatedly throughout her historic Harvard address.

Jacinda Ardern gave the prestigious Harvard University Commencement speech on Friday morning in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She joins a pantheon of well-known global figures to deliver the address, including former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

But speaking to media afterwards, the Prime Minister revealed there was a series of technical hiccups throughout the speech.

"I actually would have liked to have had a little more of an opportunity to be in the moment as it were, but my teleprompter malfunctioned fairly consistently through the speech today," she said.

"About every 10 seconds, the speech would disappear entirely for about three seconds of time and so if you noticed a few pregnant pauses that was me waiting for my words to come back on my screen."

She said at a later date when she's got over "how stressful that situation was", she will take it in.

"This felt like an incredible opportunity, not for me, but for New Zealand and I felt very humbled to take it."

Ardern also received an honourary doctorate, but said she would not be going by Dr Ardern.

"No, absolutely not," she said. 

The Prime Minister spent her address rallying against social media companies for allowing the spread of disinformation and said there was an urgent need for algorithmic issues to be addressed. 

"The time has come for social media companies and other online providers to recognise their power and to act on it."

Harvard is where Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook in 2004. It's gone on to become one of the world's most successful social media platforms, but has been criticised for enabling the spread of misinformation and hate speech.