Friday, September 7, 2012

Did Bill Clinton Speak & Deliver? Jonathan Sprinkles Thinks So

I spent the time to watch Clinton's speech yesterday morning, and was all set to write my analysis, when Speaker and Coach Jonathan Sprinkles posted his own on Facebook. He paralleled my thoughts in many ways, though he's not quite as bi-partisan in his approach. Still, I felt his analysis was worth sharing...

President Bill Clinton
Grade: A+
 JONATHAN'S DISCLAIMER: This is long, but worth it for YOU. I put extra effort into explaining how YOU can use this in your business and life. Don't take the lazy way out. Not this time, okay?

Here’s why: Even if you’re a Republican, you probably hated the content of his speech, but you had to respect his smooth delivery and the eloquence in which h
e unfolded his argument for his party’s reelection. If you’re a Democrat, you’re saying “FINALLY…someone who makes sense, has experience, and speaks in detail.” If you’re an Independent, you’re saying, “Can we amend the laws to get this guy back in office?”

Bill Clinton was 50 Shades of Brilliant. Politics aside, he was a classic example of a speaker who understood his role, but even moreso understood his place in time existentially. This is key. Bill Clinton understands people. He made it clear why he is one of the most well-liked political figures alive today—even after nearly being impeached while in office. He knows how to move people.

Clinton’s paternal tone, his use of his left index figure to jab home certain points (this right was normally held together), and subtle phrases such as “Listen to me” were all exceptionally-well used tools to step in, own his position as the authority, and speak to the American people as a father would on the back porch sipping some lemonade. Bill Clinton, for one night, became anointed as The Great Explainer. He made it very easy to listen to him for 48 minutes, which by the way, was far greater than the time he was allotted. This is the hallmark of a great speech and to a greater extent, a great speaker.

Instead of providing future suggestions, I will use this space to highlight (or in some cases reveal) Clinton’s verbal tactics and how they added to his argument. These are some of the (rough) notes I took as I watched his speech.

Used the “okay” sign with right hand and Obama’s record with his left hand to show contrast between millions on the left and ZERO on the right. NOTE: Not sure if this was intentional, but this is also reflective of the political “right wing” conservatives and “left wing” liberals.

Clinton seemed to honestly value the efforts of Republicans. This made him sound objective; a true problem solver, not a partisan pundit. From a persuasion standpoint, it also drew the crowd in early and got them on his side. If they agree early on, they will be unlikely to question his forthcoming criticisms.

Highlighted Obama as committed to compromise. Went against the claims that he was leading from the far left, but was still a centrist at heart, despite being vehemently opposed by the GOP.

Very, very smart. Take your opponent’s argument, over-simplify it, and tear it apart. Make people laugh while doing it so they aren’t thinking about the details of your argument.

Clinton said, "Here's what we've forgotten…" “Forgotten” is the key word. As The Great Explainer, he also had to remind us what was important (as he defined it) He said that improvements were happening but people just hadn't FELT it yet. Same as '95 and '96. "But the difference is in the circumstances." "No one could have fully repaired the damage in just four years." Clinton’s argument: It’s working; just be patient.

"I believe it. Why do I believe it? I'm about to tell you why…"
-Brilliant framework. “I believe___ and here’s why.” Hones the audience’s focus to YOUR logic.

"What does this mean…"
-The Great Explainer helping the people sort through all the dogma, myths and half-truths.

"I never hated Republicans the way they seem to hate our president." (paraphrased)
-Exposed the GOP’s “Obama is a good person but has failed as a president” argument. Reminded us how much of the aspersions over Obama’s term were personal and vitriolic, not based on political philosophy

"If he (Romney) is elected, and he does what he promised, Medicare will go broke by 2016."
"This is serious…because it gets worse."
-Every persuasive argument should answer the question WHAT’S AT STAKE? Show how making the wrong decision, or even indecision could really hurt you. People are motivated by pain. Cause pain then create a solution.

"…a strong middle class with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it."
-Nobody had addressed the poor until then. “Work” their way into it speaks to the GOP argument of Dem’s entitlement programs.

"Why is this true…" (about cooperation).
-Phrasing your statements this way subconsciously causes your audience to make the assumption that his information is correct. They want to know "WHY is this true" versus "Is this true?"

"Business and government working together."
"’We're all in this together’ is a far better philosophy than 'you're on your own.’"
-Clinton created a moderate middle ground approach that explains the Dem’s platform in a way that seems un-American to reject.

Jonathan Sprinkles, "Your Connection Coach", is a TV personality,

multiple award-winning speaker and author of over a dozen books.

For more tips on connecting with your audience and owning the

room, visit


Thank you for sharing Jonathan - I don't think it's a stretch to add that you would believe truly did Speak...and Deliver.

1 comment:

  1. Great speech, worth listening to it again and again. Aside for what he said, for us for how he said it. The pauses, rhetoric, humour, variety of his voice, comparisons, rhetoric questions, suspense. Wonderful use of his hands and arms. And concrete examples. Turn around paragraphs. A very great speech, indeed. A speech not only to look at but to study.



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