Kerry Needs To Shorten And Sharpen His Speaking Style
John F. Harris of the Washington Post this morning runs a piece whose premise is that John Kerry's speaking style obscures his message. In essence, Harris makes the point that Kerry is prone to long-winded, senatorial speaking on the stump, and sometimes edits his speeches on the spot to the detriment of the message he is trying to get out.
We have all seen numerous examples of this. Kerry doesn't seem comfortable giving sound-bite speeches for whatever reason. Sure, it isn't right that a man of such greater intellect and preparation than the clever, misspeaking, underachieving Bush can be marked down by the media for not dumbing down his speech. Yet Bush has elevated the grating habit of sounding stupid and sophomorish into an art form mischaracterized as moral clarity and being "comfortable in his own skin."
Kerry can improve his speaking style to be more accessible. How do we know this? Because he has done this during his rise from the pre-New Hampshire ashes. Unfortunately, anyone who saw his speech last night at the Unity Dinner would be hard-pressed to realize that the man just came off of a week of rest. Kerry returned to the laborious, senatorial, run-on sentence style of months ago.
Old dogs may find it hard to learn new tricks. But it is still possible to demonstrate to voters that you are smarter and better prepared to execute the duties of the office than the buffoonish incumbent without speaking in a style that makes it difficult for voters to grasp your point. If you want pointers in how a man smarter than those around him can speak well enough to connect with people and bludgeon your opponents at the same time, take notes from the man who preceeded you to the podium last night