President Trump's Speaking Style

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Following the successful campaigning of President Donald Trump, there are many who have studied the unique speaking style that helped him ascend to the Presidency. Linguists and historians from several colleges conducted this survey throughout the United States. “His speeches are full of non-sequiturs,” Calvin College historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez says regarding President Trump’s speaking style. A non-sequitur is a “conclusion or statement that does logically follow from the previous argument or statement.” An example of a non-sequitur includes a speech from President Trump on July 21, 2015 in South Carolina.

In the speech, the President spent the beginning of his speech talking about how the Iran deal that was agreed upon under the Obama administration. During the middle part of the speech, the President went off script from the original message and then went into a description of his uncle’s education background.

“Look having nuclear, my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes very good genes, okay very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart. You know if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, okay, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world.”

The president then went onto discuss the history of the Persians and how they “destroyed,” the United States when it came to the negotiations on the deal.

Another technique he uses is a term known as the “salesman pitch.” “He has been doing this for a very long time, that’s what he’s best at,” UC Berkley linguist George Lakoff said. The phrases that are used during his speeches are time-tested phrases. Such phrases include, “Many people are saying,” or “Believe me.” The president also made emotional connections with the crowds.

“Trump’s frequency of divergence is unusual,” linguist Mark Liberman of the University of Pennsylvania says. Liberman goes onto say that President Trump goes off topic more than other people.

Nick Morgan, who is a communications theorist and coach, has pointed out five key factors that contribute to President Trump’s success during his speaking. They are:

  1. You can’t get and keep attention without emotion
  2. But you have to focus on that emotion
  3. And your body language has to be consistent in supporting your focused message
  4. Remember you’re putting on a show
  5. You have nothing to lose by keeping it simple.

All of these points President Trump followed to a tee.

Regardless of your feelings on the President, he knows how to appeal to the everyman.