Category: Presentation Training


Has Donald Trump Changed Media Training Forever?

No question has dominated my professional conversations more lately than this: What does Donald Trump mean for media training?

It’s a good question. Mr. Trump has flouted the conventional rules we’ve taught in media training workshops for a generation and still managed to become the Republican nominee.

When people ask me whether Trump has changed the game forever, I always begin with the true answer: we don’t know yet. But I then offer a more substantive response: no, he probably hasn’t changed media training forever. But also, yes he has.


Donald Trump’s “Off-The-Record” New York Times Interview

On January 5, 2016, Donald Trump visited the editorial board of The New York Times. Some 30 editors were reportedly present for the meeting, portions of which were agreed by both parties to be off the record.

Late last week, a columnist for the Times who attended that meeting wrote a piece suggesting that Trump was more flexible on his immigration views than he was letting on publicly.

This incident offers a cautionary tale about why going off the record is risky — and adds a new rule to my list of things to consider if you’re ever inclined to speak in that manner.


Hillary Clinton’s Unconvincing Response To A Tough Question

Polls show that many Americans — including many Democrats — harbor doubts about whether Hillary Clinton is trustworthy.

It’s in that context that Secretary Clinton faced a line of questioning about her honesty late last week from CBS News anchor Scott Pelley. He asked an absolute question — “Have you always told the truth?” — which few people would be able to answer with a simple “yes.”

You can probably see why that’s a challenging question to field. In this post, I’ll discuss four possible approaches to answer it.

Donald Trump Phone

Do Phone Interviews Give Donald Trump An Unfair Advantage?

You may have noticed that most of the news networks allow Donald Trump to conduct interviews by phone.

That’s a break from the norm — most bookers want their guests, including other presidential candidates, to appear on camera. And, given Trump’s propensity to filibuster while on the phone, it leads to a question of whether phone interviews give the candidate more power.

I recently had a Twitter exchange about this topic with talk show host Montel Williams and CNN’s Jake Tapper.


Marco Rubio’s Disastrous Debate: A Case Study In Bad Bridging

I’ve long admired Marco Rubio’s communications skills. Even back in 2010, I gave him an “A” in my communications scorecard. But his performance in Saturday night’s debate was one of the worst I’ve seen.

Senator Rubio came into the debate with a clear talking point he wanted to repeat numerous times: that President Obama knew exactly what he was doing in reshaping the country—and that Obama’s vision needed to be reversed by the next president.

The problem is that Rubio repeated that same point almost verbatim four times—and even after being called out for doing so, he persisted.


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.

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