Martin Luther King and the Rule of Three

I’ve been thinking about Martin Luther King as a speaker again recently, because of the holiday, of course, but also because of the release of the movie Selma. And for one other reason: I often use King as an example of a great speaker when I’m working one-on-one with executives and professional speakers. No surprise […]

A Comparison of Two Inaugurals: Kennedy v Obama

President Kennedy gave 3 State of the Union addresses, and they are almost completely forgotten today.  His Inaugural Address, on the other hand, is cited frequently, and whenever great political speechmaking is discussed.  Rhetorically elegant, memorable, and inspirational, the speech deserves its iconic status. What will be the fate of President Obama’s Second Inaugural?  Will […]

The 2012 Convention Speeches – the Highs, the Lows, and the Baffling

Analyzing the convention speeches for their rhetorical import has become a hazardous sport, for a couple of reasons.  First of all, the political climate is so partisan that any commentary is immediately classed as merely pro or con a particular candidate or party and further discussion is useless.  Second, the rhetoric has become so pathetically […]

Why the debt limit talks are doomed – a rhetorical analysis

This is the 4th podcast in my series based on Trust Me:  Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma.  In this podcast I discuss open content — the rhetorical rules for an open communication.  In looking at these essential conditions for successful communication, I discuss why the debt limit talks are failing as currently undertaken.  The […]

Basic principles of persuasive rhetoric – 7

Principle VII: Authenticity and charisma in content require self-revelation in this confessional age. Being willing to confess something, even if it’s small, is table stakes in this age, surrounded as we are by the no-holds-barred, tell-all, celebrity-infatuated media, which constantly dish up the most intimate details of the lives, real or imagined, of these people […]