Almost Speaking

by Amy Zidell
As I've mentioned before, politically speaking, I am not in the Clinton camp. I am not in the Democrat camp. So why am I offering speech suggestions to potentially the first woman president? I like a fair fight and I am very annoyed by the ridiculous coverage that seems more concerned with a desperate and dubious quest to see into the future and winning a sophomoric game of who can take a cheaper-shot free-for-all.

A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder) campaign coverage and news cycles frankly makes a substance-filled speech difficult to cut into a 5 second video package. Clinton said she found her voice a few primaries back. Now she needs to figure out how to use it better. Here's some suggestions:
  1. GIVE a speech, do not read a speech. This allows for emotional connection with the audience and passion about a subject to show through.

  2. SUMMARIZE with • bullet points to start. Remember, some voters have short attention spans.

  3. BREATHE and PAUSE. Allow your audience time to hear and understand what you've said.

  4. LET THEM CHANT. Don't talk or shout over spontaneous audience participation chants. When you are connecting with your supporters, don't drown them out or drone over them. Respect their enthusiasm.

  5. ENJOY the moment, or at least appear to.

  6. EXUDE CONFIDENCE. The consistent drumming of complex positions, and thoughtful comments can appear as frenzy, and definitely not confident. Slowing the speech pace will help enforce confident solid statements that don't need addenda explanation.

  7. OWN the stage. Don't bother with any false humility. By discussing motivation, plans, and experience strongly the perception of nagging is nullified.

  8. Be EXCITED not EAGER. Being too eager suggests arrogance. Being excited demonstrates enthusiasm. Excitement will energize the audience and fuel the long list of issues being addressed in a given speech.

  9. Be GRACIOUS. Reinforce supporters' support and why they support. This is a great way to spread the word and expand appeal.

  10. EMBRACE the INNER GEEK. Being comfortable with oneself removes any hint of appearing to need to prove something. It's okay if people don't want to sit down and have a beer with Hillary, or even a cup of tea. If you need help, are you going to call your buddy who's in a beer stupor? If you were the cheating kind, are you going to glance at your drunk friend's answer sheet? No and no. You are going to call the hardest working, take no prisoners, nose to the grindstone, fussiest person you know when you need help. If you are the cheating type, you will try to see their answer sheet, but they will skillfully shield it. Remember Geek is Chic.

    © 2008 Amy Zidell

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