Communication Strategist Richard Greene on How Trump Wins (In His Speeches)

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 2.46.48 PM.png

Richard Greene writes speeches and coaches politicians on how to give them. He has worked on presidential and prime ministerial campaigns in six countries as a political communication advisor. He wants his fellow Progressives and others to understand a few things about Donald Trump, why he "won" and why he continues to so powerfully seduce so many. 

According to Greene, There are 7 Things All Great Speakers Do—Trump performs these 7 things, and he performs them well. 

When he is not bored, Trump does almost everything right when he speaks. 

Here are just some of the things Trump is a master at, according to Greene:

1. He uses simple words and short sentences that everyone can understand. 

2. He uses his voice brilliantly with lots of variation, generally good punctuation and emphasis, a nicely voiced tone, and strategic pauses.

3. His body language—even at, say 6'2" and 265 pounds—is excellent. He stands tall, gestures well and communicates passion with his face. Even if the Accordion Meme won't die.  


4. His messaging is nothing short of brilliant. Racist, at times, fascist, too, White Supremacist, in a way, Misogynistic, no doubt, maybe even Xenophobic. But also brilliant. He understands the power of short messages, of sound bites, of appealing to "The Lesser Angels of Our Nature," as Abraham Lincoln would no doubt call it. But there is an audience for that.

5. He understands what only great speakers understand and that great communication happens as a conversation. Instead of giving a "speech" or a "performance" at his audience, Trump has a "conversation" with his audiences. He does this less so when he is reading the Teleprompter, but with practice he is likely going to be able to read his speeches close to the way he speaks extemporaneously.

6. With the help of Stephen Miller, policy experts, and the addition of real, substantive detail in his speech during the 2018 State of the Union, Trump hit all four "Communication Languages" and was able to speak to everyone in the country. Greene's four languages are: 1) Visual: Communicating an exciting big picture; 2) Auditory: Telling a compelling story in a way that sounds great; 3) Auditory Digital: More detail will make it appear as if Trump is in control of the facts required to be a strong and competent president; and 4) Kinesthetic: Feeling, energy, and emotion will come and move many.

7. Bernie Sanders garnered a groundswell response because he is authentically passionate. Donald Trump created and creates a huge response because he is a genius at faking this, despite having almost no authentic policy positions or feelings. 

Watch Richard Greene explain his 7 Secrets of the all-time Greatest speakers: