I noticed the following post on LinkedIn, and thought that it was important to share it. When I first came to UBC to teach Industry Analysis and Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Management, I was struck by how utterly unprepared Faculty of Management students were to stand up and communicate their ideas. Most students used 3 x 5 cards and stared at the floor. One student, without realizing it, stood up and crossed his arms across his chest, projecting only his personal discomfort with the situation. Clearly this problem needed to be addressed. If there is one thing I have learned since graduating with a Speech-Communication degree, it is the importance of being able to stand up and communicate your ideas, what you believe, and most importantly, who you are. It is crucial to career success.
The U.S. government shutdown crisis is driven by an entirely new and dangerous dynamic in American politics. It is not easy to discern, but it is there. A number of different U.S. news media have begun reporting on this phenomenon and have editorialized on it. Last night before the shutdown actually occurred, one political commentator abandoned all of the tedious “talking points,” promoted by both sides, and spoke the truth. He said simply that the political paralysis problem in the United States was precipitated by the growing plutocracy (government by the extremely rich), and corporate political money empowered by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Its focus, goal and strategy is exclusively to discredit The President of the United States personally. It has little or nothing to do with opposing policy issues. It is personal and racist.
My UBC Faculty of Management students will recall that I said that Bill Clinton’s speech to the Democratic National Convention was memorable. I also predicted that Clinton’s speech would be remembered and analyzed as one of the great communication events in recent years. Now that the dust has settled and the smoke cleared from the U.S. Presidential election, it is also much clearer what was important and what was not. It is even more clear now, with the passage of time, and the elimination of all the emotion. Below is the Wall Street Journal’s glowing assessment of Clinton’s speech. Coming from the WSJ, one must admit that their opinion carries even greater weight because a Rupert Murdoch owned publication is not expected to show much admiration for anything to the left of Karl Rove.