Steve G.

Toastmaster critiques Root convention speech

In Libertarian on June 18, 2008 at 12:13 pm

The following is excerpted from the Toastmasters & Etc blog.

Make It Clear You’re Joking

First, Root started off by announcing that his daughter (I think that’s who it was at least) would be president in 2028, after he’d been President for 8 year and some other member of the Root family had been President 8 years. I started laughing out loud – at him, not with him. Maybe Root was saying this tongue and cheek, but the joke was lost on me. I really think he was serious. When I think of Libertarians, they don’t exactly seem like the type to get behind a family dynasty running the country. So not only did he not make the joke clear, he forgot his audience.

Avoid Clichés (Like the Plague)

After that, he said this wasn’t a typical political stump speech. Something to the effect that it was coming from the heart. It was different. Ugh.

Don’t Make Your Sap Story the Centerpiece

The body of Root’s speech was about how he was in Vegas while his mother was dying in New York in the 90’s. He received a call that she was about to go, so he jumped on an airplane and hoped he’d make it to get to say goodbye. He was sure his mom would hold out for him, since she was a Root, she was a fighter. He got to the hospital room, she was still alive, he held her hand for thirty seconds, then she died.

It sounds poignant the way I wrote it and I guess it was the way it played out in real life. But Root totally overpowered the story and it took a few minutes to get through it, wasting valuable time. It was manipulative even by manipulative Toastmaster speech contest standards. Maybe I’m being too cynical, but it came off as ghoulish to me.

Then came the whammy. He started shouting something to the effect of, “I’m Mother Root’s son and I’m strong too and I should be President because of it.” That seemed to be his main argument for the nomination.

Click here to read the entire article.

  1. Your link is not to the article, but rather to their about page

  2. BTW my own reaction to the speech was different. Although I did not vote for Wayne on any ballot for potus or vp, I actually liked his speech.

  3. POW, POW! If you didn’t like that speech, what about his concession speech when he endorced Barr? POW, POW!

  4. From a delivery standpoint, good, short and effective.

  5. Sorry about that, I’ll fix the link.

    Two problems already today tell me I need to get some sleep. I have been up for 28 hours straight, I explain why on my personal blog.

  6. I thought his daughter’s speech was really good.

  7. Root done just fine. A member of G.O.A. and a homeschooler, I think that its a great start. I personally did not vote for Barr or Wayne in Denver. But I do think that if Wayne comes correct the next time around, and drops all of that republican style attacking and playing politics of personal destruction, then he may be someone that i could support. Mabey a new book disavowing the republican machine would be helpful.

  8. I have never liked W.A.R.’s delivery, the so-called “Ron Paul on steroids” act. Plus, his “humor” is very stale . . . S.O.B. is tired, and not at all funny.

    He acts so hyper as to make whatever he says get lost. That, maybe is a good thing, as his substance is not at all cohesive or informative.

    The nominating speech itself was repugnant. It wasted time, it was much too touch-feely, and ultimately was nearly unbearable to listen to. I am quite surprised that Paulie says he liked it. Come on Paulie . . . you sound too much like a ‘me too” type jumping on the Barr/W.A.R. bandwagon. It comes across as disingenuous.

    Barr is a fair amount better as a speaker, but then he is a “politician”. Because of that I am reminded of the “How do you know that a politician is lying” joke, and I think it is very apropos for Barr. Barr as a “typical politician” is all wrong for the LP, and so are his vague platform references to libertarianism.

  9. I am jumping on a bandwagon? I guess that explains why I am considering voting for Jay or McKinney and will probably not vote at all.

  10. I agree with everything said in the Toastmaster critique and felt the same way as I sat listening to Root live. His speeches seemed as ridiculous as a supermodel saying she deserves a Nobel Prize for science because she’s pretty dammit.

    LaBianca, give me a call later…

  11. One can say he liked a speech without “jumping on the candidate’s bandwagon.”

    This is politics, not religion. It’s OK to say you liked someone’s speech or style — even if they’re not your cup of tea politically. Sheesh.

  12. Root’s style is neither as bad or good as people say it is. Barr is a pretty boring speaker and some of his phrasing annoys me a lot. Maybe it plays well in the South ( and Root in Veags)- I don’t know.

    We all have our own biases based on how we are personally ( introverted nerds might not like “passion”- though many others do), where we live, and other things.

    Watch CSPAN ( or other cable news) sometime and you will notice a lot of Congresscritters and others with annoying voices, accents, strange pronunciations, and odd style. I am particularly amused by the “English-only” lawmakers who do not appear to speak English themselves.

    I think libertarians are probably more self-conscious about things like this ( maybe from being picked on as adolescents?) and over-analyze speaking style.

    Of course it works both ways. I wacthed the convention on CSPAN and there were delegates very “passionate” about Root because they thought we needed someone like him to sell the message. Libertarians seem to split between reaching out to high energy “salesman” approach and rebelling to the point of insisting on a “nerdier” style while projecting their own feelings as society as a whole.

  13. I said nothing about voting. Plus, Paulie I stated that “you sound too much like a ‘me too” type jumping on the Barr/W.A.R. bandwagon.”

    Hey, I’m just saying what it sounds like.

    However, I at least, in my DISlike of W.A.R.’s speech, I spoke a little bit about why. All I heard from Paulie is that he liked it . . . though I heard nothing of consistent substance, nor any redeeming value in the tone or delivery. Though I wasn’t at all moved by verbiage of his family occurrences alluded to in the speech, I truly do not wish tragedy or sad death in his family.

  14. johncjackson Says:
    June 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Libertarians seem to split between reaching out to high energy “salesman” approach and rebelling to the point of insisting on a “nerdier” style while projecting their own feelings as society as a whole.

    It seems to me that Harry Browne’s gentle, (some might say unassuming) but firm speaking style, coupled with his excellent command of philosophical and consequentialist libertarian thought, manifest itself in a speech delivery that most libertarians appreciated and liked.

    Though with a somewhat less powerful voice, Mart Ruwart’s style is very similar to Browne’s. Her substance and command of espousing liberty is similar too.

    Say that with a straight face about W.A.R., or Barr for that matter.

  15. I couldn’t disagree more on Ruwart’s presentation style, Steve.

    I am a big fan of hers, but her speaking style is very schoolteacherish. I always feel like she’s running through a list of points and speaking them as though they’re truths to be memorized.

    I find her style very different from the late Browne’s, who was an amusing and engaging master orator with a great grasp of the issues, theory, and how to sell LPism to skeptical audiences.

    Overall, I don’t think the LP has had an exceptional orator like Browne in it, as a major candidate, since 2000. We certainly could use one.

  16. Brian Miller Says:
    June 18, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    I couldn’t disagree more on Ruwart’s presentation style, Steve.

    Both Browne and Ruwart were/are gentle orators. Both stress(ed) the consequences of liberty for all people. Both also (to varying degrees) worked in the principle behind the position, but stressed the importance of how libertarianism benefits people.

    Obviously there are differences, and each had some stylistic preferences, but if you compare Browne’s and Ruwart’s approach, they were similar enough that similarly contrast theirs with every other candidate for president this year .

    BTW, maybe their “approach” is more similar than style. But I still believe that their similarities are many.

  17. One can say he liked a speech without “jumping on the candidate’s bandwagon.”

    This is politics, not religion. It’s OK to say you liked someone’s speech or style — even if they’re not your cup of tea politically. Sheesh.

    Thank you.

  18. I said nothing about voting. Plus, Paulie I stated that “you sound too much like a ‘me too” type jumping on the Barr/W.A.R. bandwagon.”

    Hey, I’m just saying what it sounds like.

    Fair enough. Rest assured I’m not, though, although I have made it clear I have an open mind and remain open to being persuaded in either direction depending on how the campaign goes.

    However, I at least, in my DISlike of W.A.R.’s speech, I spoke a little bit about why. All I heard from Paulie is that he liked it . . . though I heard nothing of consistent substance, nor any redeeming value in the tone or delivery. Though I wasn’t at all moved by verbiage of his family occurrences alluded to in the speech, I truly do not wish tragedy or sad death in his family.

    I never thought you did. And it’s not really a substance thing, just aesthetic
    preference. The first few times I heard Root speak he really annoyed me. As I kept seeing him around the country, he sort of grew on me. It’s not anything I can easily explain, although Dave Weigel had a pretty good column about it recently.

  19. BTW I never much cared for Browne’s speaking style, although I like Mary Ruwart’s, and find Barr’s too short on specifics for my taste. So to each their own.

  20. “I find her style very different from the late Browne’s, who was an amusing and engaging master orator with a great grasp of the issues, theory, and how to sell LPism to skeptical audiences.”

    I think that Harry Browne was one of the best speakers and writers that the Libertarian Party has ever had. He was a better candidate than everyone who sought the LP nomination this time.

  21. “paulie Says:

    June 19, 2008 at 12:45 am
    One can say he liked a speech without “jumping on the candidate’s bandwagon.”

    This is politics, not religion. It’s OK to say you liked someone’s speech or style — even if they’re not your cup of tea politically. Sheesh.

    Thank you.”

    I think that Wayne Root is pretty good as a speaker. In fact, I’d say that from a pure public speaking stand point, he was the best speaker out of all of the candidates (as in delivery, not message).

    Having said this, I did not vote for Wayne Root for the following reasons…

    1) When I first heard about him entering the race back in late 2006 and/or early 2007 I went to his website and found a bunch of neo-conservative loving garbage on it.

    2) Root waffled on the war issue. Early on he was for it, later he claimed to be against it, but even then did not appear to be totally against it.

    3) Root did not sign the Libertarians for Justice ( http://www.LibertariansforJustice.org ) petitition to call for a real investigation of 9/11 and he therefore did not bother to show up at the Libertarians for Justice Presidential candidate debate which was held during the LP National Convention (Kubby, Ruwart, Jingozian, and Gravel were there).

    4) Root said that his campaign strategy was to focus on reaching out to disaffected Republicans. While I’ve got no problem with reaching out to disaffected Republicans, I think that Root’s strategy is shortsighted as he is missing out on at least 2/3 of the political spectrum.

    5) Root is too new to the Libertarian Party and movement to be on the top of the ticket (in my opinion). I would have prefered it if he had gotten involved with his local party in Nevada, and maybe run for a state or local office. Then maybe if he proved himself he could run for President or Vice President in 2012.

  22. I think that Harry Browne was one of the best speakers and writers that the Libertarian Party has ever had. He was a better candidate than everyone who sought the LP nomination this time.

    I’d take either Kubby or Ruwart over Browne.

  23. On the other hand, I’d take any dead candidate over any living candidate.

    Instant pocket veto of all legislation.

  24. Agreed on Andy’s points 1-5

  25. “think that Wayne Root is pretty good as a speaker. In fact, I’d say that from a pure public speaking stand point, he was the best speaker out of all of the candidates

    As much as I would like to say that “pure public speaking” can be judged objectively, the “object” is to reach your audience. Even being from New York, I am turned off immediately to W.A.R.’s public speaking. I find it annoying, grating, and simply self serving. In short, W.A.R. misses “reaching” many in his audience. So simply, I think his public speaking stinks.

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