Tags: mccain | speech | obama

McCain Gets Speech Coaching

Sunday, 06 Jul 2008 03:21 PM

Sen. John McCain's speaking style is getting a makeover.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is working with Brett O’Donnell, a former debate consultant for President Bush, to improve his speech and performance in front of crowds, according to The New York Times.

The Times says McCain is trying to:

  • Limit his verbal tangents and nonverbal tics.

  • Speak less out of the sides of his mouth.

  • Rely less on his favorite semantic crutch — the phrase “my friends.”

  • Cut down on his use of off-the-cuff wisecracks, and criticism of Sen. Barack Obama.

    Some McCain supporters believe the calculating efforts are unnecessary, rejecting the notion that McCain needs to be as comfortable behind a microphone as Obama.

    “I think the depressingly self-absorbed McCain campaign machine needs to get out of the way,” Mike Murphy, a longtime friend and media adviser, told the Times. “They need to just let McCain be McCain.”

    “Voters are looking for credibility and are wary of polish,” said Mark McKinnon, a former consultant to McCain’s campaign. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which candidate can more deftly read a teleprompter.”

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