January 20, 2015

It’s that time of the year again.  No, not THAT time…  We aren’t here to talk football. 


But some might say we’re talking about the Super Bowl of speeches.  That’s right.  You guessed it!  It’s time for the State of the Union address. The time where language geeks everywhere (or at least here) get pretty excited…  We can’t wait to hear what the President has to say. 


But, before he goes on the air on Tuesday, we would love to share some of our advice with him just in case he (or one of his speech writers) is reading our blog (you never know...) 


So, here it is.  Our advice to President Obama. 


Do something unexpected.  How about a “No Applause Zone?” 

  • Please announce that there will be no standing ovations at this year’s State of the Union.  It will make it more watchable.  It could cut the time in half.  And, would let people focus on what you are saying – not the theatrics.

Passion.  Or maybe a little Hollywood. 

  • The Obama of today has conviction NOT passion.  And there is a big difference.  Passion is what it takes to rally people.  To inspire them.  Conviction can do quite the opposite.
  • How about bringing the fire we see in Hollywood Presidents?  Hello Michael Douglas, I’m talking to you…. 
  • Channel Aaron Sorkin.  Watch some old episodes of West Wing before you finalize that speech.  No seriously.  Do it.

No more DC Jargon

  • Be strong.  You can do it.  Edit your speech and delete and words that wouldn’t be used outside of the beltway.

Inspiring Obama.

  • Remember HOPE.  CHANGE.  Remember that guy?  Remember how inspired people were?  Bring him back for the night.  No one gave a better speech than him. 
  • Let Obama be Obama. 

Give us hope, but be authentic.

  • Times are tough.  Globally tough.  Acknowledge that these are turbulent times. 
  • But at the same time we need you to give us hope.  But REALISTIC hope.  

Go for it.

  • This is your time.  It’s the end of the Presidency.  Keep doing what you are doing.  There is nothing to lose.  Tack left and inspire your base.  
  • Don’t mince words—just go for it. 

Tackle the tough issues.

  • Don’t shy away from the tough issues.  Don’t just tell us how good things are.  We can read your report card somewhere else.  Talk about the tough stuff too. 
  • Talk about racial injustice.  It’s real.  And you have the ability to take it on.  

Will you be watching with us tonight?  We hope so.  And remember, it’s not just what he says that matters, it’s what you hear.  

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