“It’s August 28. We’ve just finished watching and listening to the first night of the
Republican Convention.” With that, Dr. Dennis Becker launched
electionspeakers.com, a series of podcasts in which the speech coaches at
Brookline, Massachusetts-based The Speech Improvement Company, Inc.
objectively critique the important speakers of the 2012 presidential campaign.
“These broadcasts are designed to give voters valuable information needed to
make a confident decision on November 6. We’ll be watching and listening to the
candidates and others who are trying to win your vote. The talking techniques and
the tactics that they’re using are our exclusive topic for this unique critique,”
according to Becker.
Overall, Becker and the other electionspeakers.com panelists (senior speech
coaches Laurie Schloff, Monica Murphy, and Robin Maxfield) find that the speakers
at the Republican Convention’s first night missed too many opportunities – partly
due to speech writing, and partly due to delivery – to win over the undecided six
percent. Here’s a sample of the coaches’ analysis of Ann Romney:
• Ann Romney was trying to humanize the situation and make Mitt a
loveable figure. That’s where she disappointed…she came across as strong vs.
soft, and hyper as opposed to low-key. Her speech wasn’t well written.
• She used facial expressions and gestures well, and she started strongly
with her use of the word “love.” But Ann Romney could have used stories – with a
beginning, middle, and end — to connect with the audience in a heartfelt way. For
example, what makes a real marriage? How did Mitt help her when she was ill?
What was it like to be the father of five kids? How does he make her laugh?
• She was nervous. Her pace of speaking was too fast. The listeners never
had an opportunity to stop and appreciate her, and get involved with it…[but] she
did the best she could with the speech that she had.
Keynote speaker Chris Christie scored slightly higher than Ann Romney, overall, in
the electionspeakers.com panelists’ estimation. They had this to say:
• Chris Christie’s body language and facial expressions were great, and he
had some interesting things to say.
• What was the point of this keynote? It took him 17 minutes before he
even mentioned Governor Romney.
• His constant intensity and anger were difficult…he seemed on edge. It
was surprising he wasn’t more upbeat and positive.
There are 16 shows in the electionspeakers.com series, and there will be a post
every Monday PLUS every night that there is a special event, such as the
conventions and the actual debates. Dr. Becker and other electionspeakers.com
panelists are available to expand upon their critiques of the Republic Convention
speakers, and to rate their performances objectively. You can hear the
electionspeakers.com podcast here: