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Showing posts from November, 2016

The Appeal of Donald Trump

Donald Trump's rise is extraordinary and unprecedented. He beat out all Republican opponents as well as the Democrats’ strongest candidate. He ran a fierce campaign through rallies, interviews, speeches, press conferences, and social media. He said terrible things which only made him more popular.  Media made him out to be a total monster… yet millions of Americans voted for him to be our next president despite having no experience in governing. So what’s his appeal? I noticed a few things about his speaking style that struck me as a speech teacher. I will intentionally avoid getting into all of the controversies and the more offensive aspects of his campaign. In short, Donald Trump’s main persuasive appeal is of strength. I really think that sealed the deal for him. He is, physically, a large individual. The Washington Post recounted his appearance on Dr. Oz’s show where he was said to be 6 foot 3 inches tall and 236 pounds. That’s a big guy. Whenever we see him on

Substance vs. Style

It doesn't matter how great your speech is written, if your delivery is boring. I see a familiar pattern in speeches. People put lots of work into their outlines, citations, and in formatting their pages correctly. Then they just recite the work they've prepared with a basic and uninteresting delivery. This totally takes away from all that good work they've put into the assignment. Don't neglect delivery. A speech must be well written, that's very important. But equally important is making the delivery interesting and exciting for the audience. Be creative, make your speech different in some way. Give your audience a reason to listen to you. People dread listening to routine presentations. Try something different. Your audience will perk up and begin paying attention to you. Here are some ideas about what that entails. Use multimedia, a brief audio clip or video. Pose relevant questions to the audience. Draw from your prepared points but deliver extemporaneously