Speaking at the Conventions

The Republican and Democratic conventions put a lot of great speaking on display and offered plenty of opportunities for Toastmasters to learn. One viewer who appreciated the display wrote

If you admired Bill Clinton’s technique (I want to point like he does and ad lib as effectively—I’ve seen word counts of his prepared and delivered remarks that show that 15% of his presentation was off-the-cuff), you might want to take a look at 3 Techniques Bill Clinton Uses to Wow an Audience.

Several viewers commented on Barack Obama’s word choice and use of rhetorical devices

9 Ways to Add Campaign-Trail Flourish to Your Next Presentation at the Fast Company site gives a brief summary of the rhetorical tools you can use yourself.

What did you learn about speaking from the conventions? Leave a comment to tell us about a speech you particularly admired or about an analysis that can be helpful to all.

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4 responses to Speaking at the Conventions

  1. mikeschultz – Author

    Nathaniel Stein has a detailed analysis of Clinton’s speaking at the New Yorker. He says Clinton has a “conversation with a Teleprompter” rather than read from it and offers this observation: “Clinton is such a master of rhetorical strategy—he commands such innate and reflexive mastery of what makes the spoken word resonate—that he cannot help but improve his speech as he gives it. He doesn’t ad lib in the sense that extras in a movie have a restaurant conversation. He improvises, in the sense that Miles Davis or Beethoven would come up with an enduring work of art on the spot.”

  2. mikeschultz – Author

    At Tumblr The Atlantic writes about Joe Biden’s use of literally as a crutch word, defines crutch words as “Crutch words are those expressions we pepper throughout our language as verbal pauses, and sometimes as written ones, to give us time to think, to accentuate our meaning (even when we do so mistakenly), or just because these are the words that have somehow lodged in our brains and come out on our tongues the most, for whatever reason,” and provides a list of commonly used crutch words. Sounds like just the thing to refer to the next time you’ve got the Aah Counter assignment.

  3. mikeschultz – Author

    Hendrik Hertzberg provides a model for close reading or evaluation in his analysis of Bill Clinton’s speech at The New Yorker. Start with the observation that “Clinton’s speech unfolded like a symphony in three movements—or, better, a jazz oratorio” and go on from there.

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