First Reaction: President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

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The first reaction to the Second Inaugural

by Peter Watts

A President’s first term is all about getting a second term. A second term is all about legacy. Legacy starts with the Inaugural Address.

Bill Clinton speech-writer Jeff Shesol, writing in the New York Times, said: “The question for Obama now — not just in this speech but in the course it charts for his second term — is not what he will do to heal our divisions. It’s what he can achieve despite them.”

In his first Inaugural, the President plotted a course of seeking consensus with political rivals. That didn’t work out too well. In this address, the President indicated that he had learnt significant lessons from that experience.

Starting with words from the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”, the President launched into a speech that reached beyond Washington and directly to the people of America. It wasn’t until 16 minutes into the speech that Obama first used the word “I”. Instead, there was a powerful and recurrent theme of “we”, “our”, and ‘your”.

From early on, he took the fight to the GOP and the Tea Party within Congress. Segueing from his Declaration of Independance opening, the President continued: “In 1776, we did not replace the tyrannies of a King for the privileges of the few or the rule of a mob”. This theme would recur with regularity in phrases such as his rejection of an economy where “a shrinking few do very well”, and “”We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky or the few.”

Speaking of the US domestic environment, Obama spoke of building infrastructure, industry, and education. It was an agenda of renewing the nation. On foreign affairs, he stated how America will remain committed to supporting emerging democracies around the world. Towards the end of the speech he uttered words that have never before been heard on an Inauguration podium: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated equally under the law.”

The introduction to this civil rights section was one of the finest areas of the Address:

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”

Within this paragraph we see the most beautifully crafted, and brilliantly clever, series of transitions. Starting once again with “We the people” the speech moves to “forbears” and “the star that guides us”. So far, so traditional. This sounds like the President is about to move down the well trodden American path of pilgrims and pioneers. Look what comes next though. These pilgrims and pioneers aren’t wearing Puritan costumes or moving in wagon trains. These pioneers are respectively from Seneca Falls (Women’s Rights), Selma (Civil Rights), and Stonewall (Gay Rights). There is then the most beautiful transition to words of Martin Luther King, who is referred to as “a King”, counter-pointing magnificently against that tyrannical King of England that  Obama mentioned earlier as a proxy for the GOP in Congress.

Now what is so beautiful is the way that these references will have immediately cued the supporters of these movements to sit forward and listen for what was coming next, while at the same time slipping directly past those that opposed them. The people at which this phrase is aimed are now tuned in, while for rivals, the next crescendoing paragraph would come like a sucker punch.

That section would be the one where the President, winding up like a pitcher about to take the major pitch of the game, made a full flow commitment to civil rights. It was a swipe at the forces that worked so hard to ensure Obama would be a “one term President”, a mission in which they failed.

https://twitter.com/curlycomedy/status/293413104266649600

There were many references to the constitution and the founding fathers. Within them Obama seemed to be pre-empting some of the fights that will occur during his second term, and in particular with certain members of the Supreme Court. For example, Second Amendment gun rights, which although not specifically mentioned, cannot be far from anyone’s mind this Inauguration Day. In this section, we heard a reference to Newtown, Connecticut, which so recently saw such tragic events. The President moved into another key theme, that of the need to take action now, and that while we must “be true to our founding documents”, we “cannot mistake absolutism for principle”

As Gavin McMahon at the Make A Powerful Point blog has pointed out in his work on Presenter Types, President Obama’s profile as a speaker is a “Counselor”: an accurate and highly organised speaker, but one who can fail to connect with their audience, or seem dry and clinical. For example, few Inaugural Addresses contain words as distinctly uninspiring as “statistics”, but the President’s first Inaugural Address did, and did so warmly. Throughout his first term, Obama was frequently criticised for lacking passion. Can the President change that? Today’s Inaugural Address showed every indication that indeed, yes he can.

While this was a speech with passion, energy, and courage, it was also a divisive speech. There was a lot for Democrats to cheer, and an equally large amount for Republicans to be appalled at.

President Obama is giving every indication that he has learnt the lessons of the past four years. The gloves are off. This time is all about change, and everybody is invited to be a part of that change, or get out of the way.

Update:

A transcript of the address can found on the NPR web-site

Technical Analysis

Come back tomorrow for a full analysis on some the hidden technical mechanics that have gone into this speech.

Snow day

Snow Day Stage

Powerful speeches evoke the simplicity of snowy days

by Peter Watts

Simplification creates clarity.

You see the proof on winter mornings: when you awake to snow covered everything, the world looks cleaner.

Details that we seldom notice, can suddenly leap out. Snow blots out the chaos of visual details that surround us every day. It imposes a stark simplicity that allows structural features to stand out.

Presentations benefit from the same treatment. We pack them with content, thinking it a virtue to give the audience everything but the kitchen sink. In the process however, the audience loses sight of our message amongst the clutter.

Simplicity is an absolute virtue.

Take a look at a winter tree with it’s limbs covered in snow. Through the power of contrast, the white snow makes the bark of the tree appear more sharply black. This in turn means that the structure of the tree leaps forward, especially on days like today when not only the snow is white, but the sky behind it as well. The more the clutter is pulled back, the more the structure stands out.

Imagine giving presentations that could stand out with the striking clarity of a winter tree. The problem is though, that clarity can be scary. Clutter is a comfort blanket and we worry that without it we’ll be alone in a big white canvass.

Clarity doesn’t need to mean stark. Ornamentation makes a presentation human, but just make sure your clear winter tree doesn’t morph back into the sentimental clutter of a Christmas Tree, because then you’re right back at square one again.

On those rare and beautiful days of snow, take time to notice how much clearer things can look when stripped to their essentials.

How can you bring that clarity to your next presentation?

Corsets come off in Downton Abbey. Time they come off for us as well

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Copyright is a corset. Time for collaboration

by Peter Watts

Poor Lord Grantham. He has no idea what’s coming. Corsets are about to start coming off all over the place.

World War 1 has changed the Downton landscape of Season Three socially, morally, and economically. Old certainties no longer count. When individuals both upstairs and downstairs within the Abbey try to use those old certainties to exert control over others, the consequences are seldom what they intend.

As presenters we too live in a changed world; one changed by mobile technology.

When audiences can simply film or photo their way through a presentation, it is no longer realistic to pull up an intellectual drawbridge and attempt to hide behind a © copyright symbol. While we may have been born into a world of Intellectual Property fiefdom, the walls that held that fiefdom together crumble a little more each time somebody lifts a smartphone.

Of course one way to handle this might be to ban the use of mobile phones within the audience. If you have ever tried this then you will already know how unsuccessful the approach is.

The corset of “please turn off your mobile phones” no longer works. It’s time for collaboration, not corsets.

When we ring-fence our IP it is because scarcity mentality tells us that if we release this precious idea, we’ll never get another one. Better to lock it away.

Abundance mentality however would tell us that where that idea came from, there are plenty more waiting to be born. Your idea might trigger thoughts in somebody else, and yet another person’s ideas might trigger thoughts in you.

This only happens though, if we let go of © for corset and for copyright, and instead embrace © for collaboration.

Will Lord Grantham learn his lesson by the end of Season Three, because even the Dowager is loosening up her laces.

Seasonal variation in presentation

Seasonal variation creates variation in your presenting

by Peter Watts

We’re hardwired to think in seasons. For our ancients ancestors, there was a time to plough, a time to plant, a time to reap, and a time to party round a fireside because outside the snow was deep and crisp and even.

Think of sport: Different seasons have their different games.

Think of religion: Different religions have their different holidays and festivals.

Think of food: There are certain foods that we just have to have to at certain times of the year.

We navigate our world by the seasons. Our world, that is, except for the world in which we make presentations. Presentations happen in a sterile land free of seasons. Free of individuality.

A world without seasons is a homogenous and decidedly unsexy world of grey.

Corporate style sheets and “standard presentations” are often a constraint on what we can do with presentations, but would it be too crazy to make ourselves distinctive by thinking about how we can incorporate the season into the show?

It could be as simple as including some seasonal metaphors into your speech, or if you are fortunate enough to have some control of those style sheets you could add seasonal color shifts to the slides. It doesn’t have to be a slash of bright pumpkin orange, unless of course, you want it to. Flavor and temperature could be added by shifting elements of the palette towards warmer colors in winter, and cooler shades in summer.

We think in seasons. How can you take advantage of that thought pattern to increase both the pleasure and the memorability of presentations?

Conjuring presentation magic for Halloween

Let the magic flow into your public speaking

by Peter Watts

Halloween. Time for stories, and for magic.

Let’s talk of magic, and illusion. This Halloween, as little witches and wizards bearing bags begging candy come up to your door, reflect on the thought that every time we take to the stage as presenters, we too join a world of magic and illusion.

As a presenters we perform magic not with objects, but ideas and information. Take a look at this list of some of the standard categories under which stage magicians file their acts:

  • Production: Making something that wasn’t there before, become suddenly apparent and obvious to all
  • Transformation: Transmuting one thing into another
  • Restoration: Reducing something to it’s atoms, and then restoring it to exactly as it was before
  • Teleportation: Something moves mysteriously from one location to another
  • Escape: From a seemingly inescapable position, the magician succeeds
  • Prediction: What is in the audience’s mind is mysteriously understood.

The categories of magic describe perfectly what presenters do with the base metal of information. Think of your next presentation. Will you be seeking to perform a production conjuring understanding where none existed, or a transformation, turning hesitancy to excitement, or maybe a prediction, where through the magical power of research and planning you demonstrate to an audience how much you understand them; that you know just what is in their minds at this moment.

You are a magician.

This Halloween, as our minds turn to magic, give a thought to some of the great magicians and illusionists. Either the living such as Lyn Dillies, past greats such as Harry Houdini, or even the mythical such as Merlin or Dumbledore. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from them as a presenter?”

Tennessee Williams spoke for audiences worldwide in “A Streetcar Named Desire” when he wrote the words:

“I don’t want realism. I want magic!”

May your Halloween be magical, and your public speaking spellbinding.

Seven points for powerful debating

The Presidential Debates 2012 have valuable pointers for sales presenters

by Peter Watts

If you cross chess with WWF wrestling, throw in battle strategy and forensics, then mix in the disciplines of public speaking, you get debate.

Based on what we’ve just seen during the 2012 Presidential Debates, here is The Presenters’ Blog list of the top seven things to be aware of in order to raise your debating game:

Answer the question on your own terms

During the debates we saw enough framing to raise an Amish barn. Time after time, both candidates pivoted debate questions around to their own talking points. For example, when President Obama was asked about Libya during the Foreign Policy Debate, he replied that the solution was all about “nation building”. Under this heading he included education, health, and a stable economy, and from there he pivoted neatly to how that was exactly what he was delivering to America. It might seem transparent when you see it written down, but on the debate floor it works. It’s time honored and essential.

You are NEVER above the fray

Trying to keep a lofty distance above all this messy debating is a strategy that never works, as President Obama so heftily discovered during the first 2012 debate. If you are on the stage, prepare to engage. You can show a profusion of emotional responses, as Joe Biden so fabulously did during the VP’s debate, but you can never show nose-in-the-air aloof.

Don’t whine

There may be debate rules in place, but if you think your opponent is overstepping them, then tell that straight to your opponent, straight to their face. The moderator will then step in to support you. Mitt Romney however made the mistake of taking his complaints direct to the debate moderator instead. The effect was of a small child running to Mom or Dad and whining that the other kid wasn’t playing nice.

Have a key message

Always have a key message and return to it as frequently as possible by as many routes as possible. Governor Romney showed us a masterclass in key messaging during Debate One, when somehow, almost all lines of discussion seemed to lead directly to “small business”.

Techniques work well when only used once

During Debate Two, we commented on the use of rhetorical techniques. The Romans called them the “hidden darts”; fabulously powerful, but only effective when kept, as the name suggests, hidden.

If you use a technique of rhetoric once only, then it will sit in your speech as an elegant jewel. If you use the same technique twice, the audience will recognize the repetition. Use it a third time, and not only will the audience recognize it, but your opponent will be ready with a kill shot.

During the first debate, Governor Romney used the technique of listing-off the points he would discuss during his answer. There would always four points in his list, and the fourth would be the pivot-point back to Small Business. By Debate Three, President Obama was ready for him. As Romney finished the list, predictably landing on “small business”, the President fired-back with a list of his own, detailing everything the Governor had ever done that had harmed small business, and then neatly pivoting back around to the President’s own talking points. Aim, fire, dead.

Planning and preparation are everything

More than anything else, the debate pointed up the importance of not only planning your own strategy, but also mapping out the likely strategy of your opponent. If we take the example of the President’s Debate Three kill shot to Governor Romney’s pivot on small-business, that kill-shot was the result of close observation of the Governor’s techniques, and where he would most likely attempt to go with them.

Keep it current

Under that same prep and planning heading, we see the importance of being up to date, not just on your own press releases, but  on your opponent’s. On the day of Debate Three, the Romney camp started making noise about increased spending on the navy. The Obama camp anticipated the topic would be dropped into the debate by Romney, and what was the planned response?

It was the brilliant “horses and bayonets” retort that went on to become the night’s most tweeted comment.

The Third Presidential Debate 2012. Analysis and Commentary. And Who Won?

by Peter Watts and Gavin McMahon

Up till tonight, it was one round each.

Both candidates had proved themselves. Governor Romney had shown himself an admirable debater when the battleground was formed of facts. He had shown himself credible as the next CEO of United States of America Inc. President Obama meanwhile had delivered the debater who could stir the passions. His greatest challenge had been to overcome his alter-ego as Professor and deliver Presidential. He achieved it.

That’s not to say it’s all been bouquets. There have been brickbats too. We’ve had the snoozefest of President Obama’s comatose comments during the Domestic Affairs Debate, and were then entertained by the binders full of blunders that opened during the Town Hall Meeting.

Tonight was the final round……

So who flourished in Florida?
Did the Sunshine State shimmer on someone’s parade?
Who was….. the strongest debater?

Gavin:
I’ll start by saying this wasn’t a fair fight. There’s a big difference between knowing your subject and learning your subject. I’d imagine that this was the debate Governor Romney looked forward to the least, and President Obama the most. Talking about action and fact is a strong position when things are going well. Obama generally did this. Words like we did and we are, are stronger than we should. The subject of foreign policy is high ground for Obama, and he had it all night.  Romney frequently had to make his positions seem the same, but with woulda-coulda-shoulda differences. To which Obama could frequently respond, with variations like, “I am pleased that you are now endorsing our policy.”

Obama practiced debate ju-jitsu all night — which he did very well. In response to Romney opinion about increasing the size of the Navy, Obama responded with a clever and well positioned rejoinder, “You mentioned the Navy and that we have fewer ships than we had in 1916, well Gov we also have few horses and bayonets.” It was a nice rhetorical comparison that made Romney seem outdated and misinformed.

He did it again when he compared his first foreign trips to Romney’s (which have been documented as gaffe-prone) “I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, to remind myself of the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.”

These and other comparisons let Obama credibly claim the central question of the night. “The central question is who is going to be credible to our allies and enemies.” In debating, pitching, selling, if you can define the frame by which the decision will be made, you win.

Peter:
Tonight could have gone either way, and when Governor Romney won the coin toss to go first, a subtle part of the power balance moved into his favor. When the first question turned out to be on Libya, which is currently the weakest topic for the President, the balance moved decisively into his favor. This was a chance to get his opponent on the back foot from the word go.

So what went so very wrong for the Governor?

To understand why Mitt Romney found himself so frequently on the ropes tonight, it’s necessary to look back over the past 12 months. There has indeed been a degree of the etch-a-sketch to many of his pronouncements, which in fairness, has been thrust upon him due to the necessity of initially appealing to one electorate during the GOP primaries, and then having to broaden that appeal to a wider and more disparate national audience. The President seized upon that weakness and ripped it apart live on national television.

The first signs of trouble were concealed in the early Obama sound-bite that America needs “strong and steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership”. This would turn out to be Obama’s key message, returning to it frequently as he laid out examples of Mitt Romney’s changed positions on multiple issues.

Romney’s response was weak, but also underlies his debate strategy. Referring to himself, he stated: “Attacking me is not on the agenda.” It was an attempt to rise above the debate. It was an attempt to strike a tone of consensus. All it achieved was waving a rather large white flag into the face of an already charging bull.

Both candidates frequently pivoted away from the subject of Foreign Affairs and headed back into Domestic Affairs. One such pivot yielded what for me was one of the President’s finest lines: “You seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.” This line also set the President up well for the first of several pivots to the topic of women, a key demographic in the undecided electorate.

In past debates, we’ve noted that Mitt Romney favors four-point lists as a speaking tactic, where the fourth point on the list will normally be his key talking point, and during the first debate, that key talking point was Small Business.

Tonight he returned to that key talking point, but sadly the President’s team had seen it coming and the President was uncannily ready with a list of negatives about Governor Romney’s record on exactly that subject.

This was another strong element working in the President’s favor: Incredible preparation and planning concerning both his own strategy, and his opponent’s.

Governor Romney did attain the occasional moment of glory. In particular, I thought his response “America has not dictated to other nations. America has freed other nations from dictators” was both clever and stylish. Sadly though, it was his only such moment.

It was an Obama victory tonight. And a victory that pointed up the importance of not just passion, but planning and preparation.

 

Debating the Presidential Debate. This week: Rhetoric

Peter:

by Peter Watts and Gavin McMahon

Writing with Gavin over at the “Make A Powerful Point” blog, our continuing examination of the Presidential Debates. This week: Rhetoric

Originally posted on make a powerful point:

PowerfulPoint-Blog-Post-2012-Presidential-Debate-Round-2-Head-to-Head-at-Hofstra,-Obama,-Romney

Over $1.1billion has been spent so far on this year’s presidential debate. The American public, tired of two wars, a recession and a flagging economy is also suffering from campaign fatigue. There’s an outcry against political rhetoric. Yet it’s rhetoric that moves the needle. Witness the debate in Denver where a surging Obama came up short, and a once DOA candidate has come back to life. Early on, Romney responded to Obama saying, “let’s look at policies as opposed to rhetoric.” Lovers of irony everywhere should appreciate this comment. The debate was chock-full of rhetoric.  So instead of looking at policy, let’s look at rhetoric. Specifically the rhetorical devices that both used.

“Gov. Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.” This phrase opened up Obama’s response to…

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Ed Milliband Conference Speech. Showing how it’s meant to be done!

 

by Peter Watts

Congratulations Ed Milliband. The leader of Britain’s Labour Party just delivered what can only be called a barn-stormer of a speech.

In the age of the bland and of the auto-cue, he just reminded us of what an old fashioned speech should look like, sound like, and feel like.

One speech does not an election win, but Ed Milliband has done himself a tremendous deal of personal good today. Had you asked me this morning if I thought David Cameron had anything to worry about in the next election, I wouldn’t have counted Ed Milliband as being amongst his troubles. This speech has just changed my mind.

Here are some of the reasons why I loved it:

1: It was all from memory!

Not an auto-cue in sight. For over an hour, the speaker spoke from memory, and with zero trips or hesitations. An incredible achievement under the pressure of audience, spotlights, and TV cameras that allowed him to….

2: Speak naturally 

Everything was aimed directly at the audience. Without an auto cue to look at, notice how easily the speaker can move himself around the stage, and his gaze around the entire audience.

3: Telling a story

Key to the whole achievement is the way that Ed Milliband is using a story. It’s his own story. What could be easier to hold onto for him? He also manages to achieve a full range of emotions, and those emotions are backed-up with…

4: Superb voice modulation

There are slow bits, fast bits, quiet bits, crescendoing bits, sad bits, and there are even….

5: Jokes!

Normally a no-no. Jokes can be so very dangerous, but he pulled it off. How? By a perfect choice of subject matter guaranteed to get a conference giggle.

6: Metaphors and allusions

From the word go, there were some wonderful allusions. My favourite was the oak tree reference in the first two minutes. A wonderful multi-level metaphor that set up the forthcoming….

7: Key message

You can never repeat a key message too many times, and even though some commentators are accusing Milliband of doing just that, with his 46 references to “one nation”, it’s interesting to note how his choice of trope is now broadbanding it’s way across every media outlet in the UK. By tomorrow morning there won’t be anyone within reach of a TV, radio, or newspaper who won’t have heard it!

8: Use of space

Last week I criticized Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg for being perched on his little podium, a slave to the TV cameras. This week we saw Ed Milliband using a large square podium, and even though there were people sitting behind him, just take a look at the way he walks that podium, in the “Square Dance” method we mentioned last week.

A superb performance, and whether your passion is Public Speaking or Politics or maybe even both, do take a look at today’s speech on BBC.com.

It’s a master-class.

Obama v. Romney: Blogging the 2012 US Presidential Debates


by Peter Watts

The ancient Romans and Greeks gave us the skills we today call Public Speaking. They also brought us the arena. For the Greeks, that arena contained the high ideals of athletics. For the Romans, it was frequently filled with something a lot more bloody.

This week, we will see those traditions of the ancient world resonate in the gladiatorial collision of the US Presidential Debates.

Watched, analysed, and regarded as more vital than the Party Conventions, the debating action might not have the physical blood of the Roman arena, but it will still be a fight to the death. As Richard Nixon famously discovered when he came up against John F. Kennedy, a poor performance means the end of not just a political campaign but the beginning of a political obituary.

This is reality TV with a vengeance, and doing justice to blogging the debates is a blogging mission bigger than any lone blogger, which is why there are two of us teaming up for it.

For the next three weeks, the Make A Powerful Point blog hosted by Gavin McMahon and The Presenters’ Blog hosted by Peter Watts will be joining forces. The day after each debate we’ll be looking at a specific aspect of the art of debating and then putting forward our own unique take on how the contenders did. We’re even going to try to score them and see if we can pick a winner.

Ah yes, a winner. In the interests of fairness, we’re also going to take it in turns to “spot” the different candidates, so here’s the schedule:

Wednesday 3rd October: Domestic Policy Debate in Denver
In Mitt Romney’s corner: Peter
In President Obama’s: Gavin

How did the candidates do at the fine art of “staying on message”? This comes down to the way they handle and frame their answers to the questions. A well turned answer will respond to the question while subtly boomeranging back around to the candidate’s chief talking points. A badly turned answer will have the Twitterverse twanging and host Jim Lehrer dragging the candidate back to the subject at hand.

Tuesday 16th October: Town-Meeting Format in New York
In Mitt Romney’s corner: Gavin
In President Obama’s: Peter

For the Town Meeting debate, we’ll be looking at the candidates’ use of language, and in particular how well they manage to move against their accepted presenter-types. Can President Obama sound Presidential rather than Professorial, and can Mitt Romney leave behind his wooden, PowerPoint-driven Management Consultant mode.

In particular we’re going to explore how the candidates use techniques such as metaphor, simile, and repetition to get their points across. This is a Town Meeting after all, and we’re looking for some down-home use of plain speaking, with just the occasional rhetorical flourish.

Monday 22nd October: Foreign Policy in Boca Raton
In Mitt Romney’s corner: Gavin & Peter
In President Obama’s: Gavin & Peter

This one’s the final show down, and someone might have their back against the wall, or we might have a one-all draw! We’ll also have had two debates behind us to get insights into how the candidates battle against each other.

Having seen how the candidates have performed to date, we’ll know where each is strong and where each is weak. Our final analysis topic will be on how the candidates manage to maximise those strengths, and to cover their weaknesses.

Each of our posts will be online the afternoon after the debate. We hope you’ll join us with your comments and thoughts on how the candidates have performed.

We’re looking forward to the debates, both on the stage, and here on the blog.

About us:

Gavin is a founding partner at fassforward consulting group. He blogs about PowerPoint, Presenting, Communication and Message Discipline at makeapowerfulpoint.com. You can follow him on twitter @powerfulpoint.

Peter is a writer, trainer, and speaker on all aspects of Presenting. He coaches business executives in how to be at their best when on their feet. His bi-weekly blog, The Presenters’ Blog, examines core disciplines of public speaking and looks at how those disciplines are being illustrated by news stories around the world. You can follow his Twitter feed on @speak2all

A Note about bias. Neither of us can or will be voting in the US elections, but, like all humans, we have biases. We will try to look at the debates purely from a point of view of speaking, messaging and presenting, to see what the rest of us -— those that will never run for President, can learn.

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