Bimbo Banter


Trump Rehearses and Follows the Rules – Successfully


  • Leadership
  • July 22, 2016
  • by Merrie Spaeth

Trump convention

Donald Trump finally got religion – at least as far as speech giving is concerned. He obviously rehearsed; he had a structured presentation and incorporated the basic lesson that all executives (and candidates!) need to learn. Let’s tick them off:

Pauses: these are the most frequently overlooked portions of speeches. Starting right from the beginning, when he walked onto the stage and his daughter, Ivanka, walked off, he had a long pause. This allowed him to establish his bond with the audience.

Interaction: this important element of effective presentations is hard to incorporate with huge crowds like the one in Quicken Arena, not to mention the important audience on the other side of the camera. Trump both waited and encouraged audience chanting– such as “USA USA USA” – and joined in.

Cadence: his mastery of cadence is a result of years of public appearances. (Lesson to business people—build into your schedules an aggressive level of outreach to internal and external audiences.)

Modulation: who would have thought it? The Donald was capable of dropping his voice. When he delivered a key line – “Let’s defeat her (Clinton)” – he dropped his voice and spoke quietly, thus drawing attention to the point.  Both his cadence and modulation show the benefits of years of practice. And this line became a key sound bite.

Applause: when drawing attention – such as the recognition of VP candidate, Governor Mike Pence,—he raised his hands to applaud.

Repetition/writing/flexibility: the material built in his personal habits. At the beginning, when he said, “Who would have believed?” (that he would have been standing before them), Trump repeated several times, “Who would have believed? Who would have believed?” The repetition made this portion of his speech a conversation rather than a lecture.

Self-deprecating humor: not exactly perfect, but when he mentioned evangelical groups, he thanked them for their support and added, “I’m not sure I deserve it…,” a modesty rarely expressed before. And this point also got repeated during the post-speech chatter.

Thematic focus: the phrase and focus –“Make America bigger and better.” He reinforced this point over and over. He also had a nice tie to the convention’s themes ending with his slogan “Make America Great Again.”

Criticism: at one hour 12 minutes, it was too long. How many people stuck through it?  However, keep in mind that most people will only see excerpts anyway.

Maybe he can be President…



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