Bill Clinton

4 minutes
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Have public speakers who've been on the international stage well known in the English speaking world and around the world. And of speakers who've been around for several decades, I have to put Bill Clinton at the very top of the list when it comes to pure public speaking skill, even as political enemies, people who don't share his view on politics or policy, would concede. He is a world class, public speaker. With Clinton, I could have picked almost any speech and I say almost I'll talk about his one biggest blunder almost any species given in the last 30 years and we could point to a near virtuoso performance. He really connects with people. He is the master of icontact.

If you've heard me talk about in other sections of this course. He's always exuding an empathy. He has a masterful use of his voice. He might occasionally speak a little bit louder, but then he'll instantly soften it and contrast it with a whisper. He has great facial expressions movement, the only thing I would fault him on is at some point, some consultant somewhere, told him it's bad to point and he does this awkward thing with his thumb, which I've never seen anyone in real life having a conversation to. That's the one area where I would tell him Don't do that, that looks phony and contrived, but everything else.

He just comes across as incredibly natural, relaxed, likeable. And he truly gives you this sense that he is here in the moment, just sharing with you and I've seen him many times in person. Going back to the 1980s at political conventions. Basically, always To say, it's pretty much always the best speaker, anyone who's seen that day that weekend, that week, that month or ever. Now, he does have some skills that most people don't have. He has a near photographic memory, famously during a joint session of Congress that he was speaking too early in his term, he didn't have his speech loaded in the teleprompter properly was the previous year's speech.

So he spoke for the first 10 or 15 minutes, just for memory. No one had any idea. Most people can't do that. And you don't need to have a photographic memory to be a great speaker. I do think you can learn from him by showing and looking at how he demonstrates pausing animation using simple words and this is a bright again, you may hate Bill Clinton for a variety of reasons. He is very very intellectual.

You talk to any public policy professor who's met Clinton, they'll tell you he knows more about the subject than they do, has an expensive vocabulary. But when you listen to him speak, he is the simplest words, possible. Small words, and yet nobody thinks he's stupid. He's able to clarify things, he's able to put a spotlight on issues, he's able to make the case whether it's his own campaign, other politicians other campaigns in a way that other speakers other politicians simply cannot do. So, regardless of your politics, you might even care about politics. You certainly cannot harm yourself by studying carefully in great detail how Bill Clinton speaks.

I do put him way above john F. Kennedy is a speaker or Roosevelt or others because I think he's so much more natural conversational, and ability is the ability to be in the moment when he speaks where you feel like wow, he's just talking to me even though you're in a room with 50,000 other people, it still comes across as genuine, interesting, memorable. Take a look. Post your comments on what you like and don't like but please don't turn this into a form about your politics. If you didn't like something about his policies or personal this isn't the place for it. Okay.

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