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.