Speaking Lessons from Marco Rubio’s Big Flub: Why Simply Memorizing Soundbites Doesn’t Work

marco rubio video

In case you missed it, presidential hopeful Marco Rubio repeated almost verbatim the same soundbites FOUR times! It was not only comical, but a case of speaking suicide and homicide: killing his audience and his credibility.

If you’re ready to make a presentation, speech, or give a point of view at a meeting, here’s help to avoid committing this crime.

Over prepare for questions so you have new answers #speaking #MarcoRubio Click To Tweet

  1. Keep Extra Ammunition in Your Pocket – if Mr. Rubio had alternative soundbites in his pocket, he wouldn’t have sounded like a robot. My advice: over prepare for what you think they will ask…and then add more Q&A to your prep time. Don’t forget to engage a friend, colleague or coach (me!) for help.
  2. Remain Present – What I mean here is to follow the conversation and debate in real time; don’t remain so focused on your soundbite that you forget what’s really going on! I often find in radio interviews that hosts aren’t really listening to my answers, but preparing for the next question – exactly the antithesis of my advice.

Repeat key phrases for impact; #speaking Click To Tweet

  1. Repeat Soundbites Selectively – A great technique for having your audience buying-in to your message, is to repeat it sparingly, but forcefully. For example, the cadence of Martin Luther King’s great speech is driven by the repetition of the phrase “I have a dream.” Don’t unintentionally repeat yourself, but if you do, laugh it off. Marco would have been better off adding a self-deprecating line such as, “Did I just say that?”

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

2 Comments
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