Donald Trump has made many of us in the communications business shift uncomfortably in our seats in the last couple of years.
When Trump became President, he pretty much took the standard advice of the speaker coach, screwed it up, and threw it back in our faces: be clear in what you mean, we said. Own your authority on what you’re talking about, we said, and admit when you don’t. Thank other people, be the best version of yourself you can be, give people something to aspire to.
As a speaker, Trump is boring, repetitive, ill-informed, divisive, unaffecting and a million other things that we’d warn you away from. Clear message? No, he rambles and repeats, so that people take away what they think they’ve heard. Authority? Nobody has better advisors than the US President, but Trump’s commentary sounds like he glimpsed a headline over someone’s shoulder. And as for being the best version of yourself, the president’s crossed arms / bottom lip out pose is familiar to anyone who’s ever tried to get a four-year-old to eat their greens.