Category: Presentation Training


A Scathing Editorial And The Limits Of Being “On Message”

The Conway Daily Sun, a small New Hampshire newspaper, recently ran a scathing editorial that grabbed the attention of the political world.

The Sun has a relatively small print circulation—16,000 copies per day—but its diminutive size holds outsize power due to New Hampshire’s “First In The Nation” primary voting status.

Presidential candidates often pay the paper an in-person visit, as Marco Rubio did late last month. His visit resulted in what can only be described as a harshly negative review. There were several reasons for the paper’s discontent, but one was more pronounced than the rest.

Chris Christie Drug Speech

Chris Christie’s Drug Speech: Six Minutes Of Speaking Perfection

The 2016 presidential campaign has been marked with more ugliness, pettiness, and bullying than usual. Frankly, I’ve become dispirited with the spectacle.

So when I saw a video of Chris Christie discussing drugs during a presidential campaign stop last week—a video that has subsequently gone viral—it was a welcome moment of compassion, seriousness, and rationalism in a campaign that has had far too little of each.

Regardless of your politics or which candidate you favor, there’s a lot to like in — and learn from — his speech.


Review: October 13, 2015 CNN Democratic Debate

The five candidates for the Democratic nomination faced off for the first time tonight.

As some of you know, I live tweet many of these debates. So instead of writing a full scorecard of tonight’s debate, I decided to try something new. In this post, you’ll find my 19-tweet review of the debate, complied into a single post.

As usual, I tried to leave my personal politics out of it and sought to be as nonpartisan as possible in my analysis.


Ben Carson Adviser Kills Interview In Progress: “This Is Over”

Presidential candidate Ben Carson recently sat down for an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Tapper pressed Carson about a comment he made last week regarding Muslims: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

After several minutes of questioning on the matter, a Carson adviser, who was off-camera, said, “This interview is over.” That brief moment leads to a question: When is it a good idea for PR professionals to cut off an interview midstream?


Scorecard: September 16, 2015 CNN Republican Debate

During tonight’s pivotal second Republican primary debate, two candidates shined above the rest of the field. And no, neither of them is named “Trump.”

In fact, tonight’s debate might mark the end of Trump’s reign at the top of the field. His inexperience stood in marked contrast to his more experienced opponents, and his usual bullying routine didn’t work for him as it has in the past.

As always, I did my best to score this on debate points as a nonpartisan observer.


July 2015: The Worst Video Media Disaster

Donald Trump’s knack for getting media attention has catapulted him to the top of the Republican polls.

But whether you love him or loathe him, his dismissive comments about Senator John McCain being captured as a POW during the Vietnam War were awful and deserving of this month’s worst video media disaster recognition.

Of course, this post is probably beside the point. I can’t shake the feeling that Trump will be the first person in the history of the “worst video media disaster” series who relishes—and is somehow strengthened by—earning the title.


Lindsey Graham’s Masterful Response To Donald Trump

(July 23, 2015) Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of 16 Republican presidential candidates, recently called GOP rival and current frontrunner Donald Trump a “jackass” for recent comments he made on the campaign trail.

On Tuesday, Trump went nuclear by announcing Graham’s cell phone number on national television.

Graham’s unexpected response made headlines — and contains a lesson I wish more politicians would keep in mind.


June 2015: The Worst Video Media Disaster

Joe Biden’s oldest son, Beau, died of brain cancer on May 30. It was the latest blow in a life of tragedies for the vice president, whose first wife and one-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972. 

In response to the news, politicians on the opposite side of the aisle suspended partisan attacks

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