Passion drives people to do many things, including vote for a potential President of the United States. More than a postscript to the election, the subsequent inauguration speech becomes the embodiment of heavy expectations for the next four or eight years. Well over 8000 people weighed in via Twitter poll on President Trump’s every word and not-so nuanced concepts.
I have written many high-profile speeches, so the art of a speech always drives my curiosity. Add the spotlight of a contentious election, uneasy transition, and much-awaited inauguration, and I was glued to it. My hope was that it would be an inspiring launch of our new administration.
Inauguration Speech Twitter Poll
The Twitter platform creates and amplifies buzz – crowdsourcing works. I created a poll at the start of President Trump’s inauguration speech. To ensure as broad a reach as possible, I paid to boost the poll, reaching beyond the 12,000 people who follow @Kathleenhessert. I needed as much insight and as many votes as possible to assess reaction to the speech and, by extension, the new President. The social media concept of “pay to play” is a byproduct of scientific algorithms. Brands have to pay to play to get their ideas in front of a broader or targeted audience. Essentially, organic reach is no more. *(See infographic below.)
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As a speechwriter (among other disciplines), I’m glued to every inauguration speech. No way I can just sit back and absorb it. I slice and dice the messages, language, and delivery in hopes that it will inspire me along with a nation. The television is on, I follow it on social media, listen to it on radio, and read the transcript. I consume it in every way, shape and form. This year was no exception.
A well-written speech can fall as flat as road kill when delivered poorly. Just as often, a charismatic speaker can wake up lazy thoughts and sleepy words. Audiences are drawn to speakers and ideas by compelling voices, well-timed gestures, stage presence, eye contact and facial expressions that punctuate. Preparation can trigger success or failure. The inauguration speech was not ad-lib. It was deliberate and measured, and although the ideas were clearly President Trump’s, the speech shouted the involvement of a professional speechwriter.
What You See Is Not Always What You Get
As the history books recall, the Kennedy-Nixon television debate proved that people who see something often feel differently than those who only hear it. Frankly, reading a speech can leave a much different reaction than either of the other two alternatives. That was my takeaway from President Trump’s inaugural document. What I saw didn’t measure up to the eloquent words and phrases in the transcript itself. The dour look on President Trump’s face amplified the strong, dark and ominous language. Where were the smiles of victory, of promise of a better tomorrow?
The following is an infographic summarizing the votes of thousands of Americans who were looking for something to latch onto and perpetuate their own agenda. Professional or speechwriter-hobbyists will view this differently than the media or public. Take a look at the results and let me know what you think. Share your comments below.
If you need speech or presentation writing/coaching on any topic, feel free to contact us at SMC 1+704-541-5942 , on Twitter @Kathleenhessert or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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