« Phil in the Blanks

The Speeches You’ve Never Heard That Would’ve Changed The World

2022-07-26 | 🔗

How many times have people planned a certain outcome that never took place? They thought something was going to come to pass, and then it didn't. Or, what about leaders who had two different speeches written and gave one, not the other. Jeffrey Nussbaum, author and former presidential speechwriter, does an analysis of this history in his new book, Undelivered. He joins Dr. Phil to discuss never heard speeches from history. Plus, hear what he says are five elements that are found in every persuasive speech, how to get people’s attention up front, and more. New episodes drop Tuesdays. Listen and subscribe here.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by staples you're busy running your business. So it's time to let you in on a secret, you can Were you shop at stables, yeah, it's true there. The best kept secret and shipping stables can keep her business going from shipping services to supplies and their even open early and late. Seven days a week, so shipping staples and get twenty five percent off. You bs expressed shipping services in store, only exclusion supply and december. Thirty. First for more details. Visit staples, connect, dotcom, slash shipping. It is at all Ways clear to these leaders: they are conflicted down to the minute they step up to the mike king, didn't want to tell him that the dream job I wanted to tell him about the nightmare and if each of them, had their way. It would have been very, very different march, Well, they are very welcome back to fill in the blanks. This is good
to be a really interesting day for you. I have to tell you. It is interesting for me and I haven't even started yet of science. because my gear today is jeffrey, thus bob now I'm gonna tell you. This guy is interesting, resting man with an interesting, interesting history and job he's written a book called undelivered it talks about the never heard speeches that would have rewritten history think about this. How many times have people planned? A certain outcome that never took place, they thought they were gonna win election. They thought a certain outcome was gonna. Come too pass and then it didn't or they had two different speed, is written. They gave one, not the other. What jeff is done is compilation and
An analysis of this whole history Some of these things are really amazing and the story behind them is great and he's not as some this collected these, he as a speech ride or even a partner at wing riders. The premier strategy and speech riding shop in Washington DC, and, if you didn't know there are these kind of places dislike, there are four songwriters he has worked in. Riding syria speeches ease, worked in riding humor he's been involved in speech, writing and messaging operations for conventions thousand eight twenty twelve twenty. Sixteen twenty twenty income up with our presidential nominees. He served as vice president Joe Biden's speech writer on the first obama. And campaign he's
and for AL gore, he's been collaborator with James carville for the best seller had enough he's, work will sit bob, graham, I could just go on for ever and ever, but I don't want to have you keep listening to me as I want to introduce you to Jeff, so Jeff welcome to fill in the blanks illustrated straight with you doctor, What an amazing idea you had four! livered. What made you decide to do this So, even though the book isn't political, I was a speech runner for AL gore on the election of two thousand so election. I two thousand AL gore prepares three speeches not to victory a concession and, strangely enough we thought he might win the electoral college and lose the popular vote. So three speeches prepared. Those folks were all not remember. Election, two thousand florida state too close to call to leave gorgeous no speech that night and so all three of those
beaches are are lost a history. In fact I was holding one point. I will the more so those aren't going about. It said on this journey. What are they other moments. As you said, the introduction not just in politics but in issues of war and peace leaders, making different decisions where things were so close there that there was a draft prepared for an alternate outcome, and so I started finding these in all sorts of different places, well. You have and we'll talk about some of those in a minute and to ask you some questions that go beyond the book I been, waiting a long time to talk to you, because this idea of speech riding is really intriguing me. I don't know if you know, but I spent a lot of time in a litigation arena as a trial scientist and one The things that we did was prepare witnesses. We prepared them to tell the truth, effective,
as I have often said, I'd rather have a poor sat, a fax prison, It really well then so the facts presented really poorly. I thank you huge power inland mistakes, I think there's a few power in language and writing, speeches and helping people not putting work. in her mouth, but is helping them get their thoughts out in an effect, way so, I'm in tree by what you do when you riders each for someone? You don't feel like you substituting your thoughts or judgments for their own. But how You describe what you're doing when you're writing a speech for some one else. Yeah first You and I are absolutely singing from the same hymn now sometimes jochen speech. Writing. That is not the best products. The winds, it's the best, explain her
and that really is it's it's about its about telling the truth effectively. It's about getting people to feel and to answer the question directly. There are some people out there who said, I'm gonna write the most brilliant speech I can write and I'm gonna find someone who's gonna read it word for word, but that's not really how I've seen my job in politics and in helping business leaders. I really want to help them do their best sound. and and the way to do, that is to really figure out not just how someone sounds in a house This is how you make it sound like me and I say well, that's actually the second question. The first question is: how do I make you think like you? How do you make an argument? How do you approach the world, and so I try to help the folks I work with again, as I said, be there That sounds be their most persuasive, as opposed to be some external ideal of of what a good speeches,
in order to do that, you have to really know that person's value system ride you gonna sit down with him, it's ok. What is it you want to get across? What is it you want? people to come away with at the inn of hearing your remarks hearing your speech: do you start with it? jack and work, words from that. How do you go about it? Yeah? I do. As a matter of fact, I go through this whole exercise where I right at the top of the page. What is the dream headline coming out of this? What do I want the audience to take away, and then I sort of right to that goal, because if, at the end of shares each the audience doesn't take away with the speaker watson to take away that's a fair as affair. Oh so I start with the end objective in mind and then and then I remember that the goal of a speech is persuasion and how do you prefer
where people and in the same as you know how you move an audience to action or allegiance, and so we think what what levers do we need to pull stories? Do we need to tell what facts we need to deploy to get that audience to to join you or if they have already joined it, start martian. I hear people or time say politics or local and I always say no. No. I disagree. I think politics, our personal. And they may not want to admit it, but I think it's a point in the process. They say: what's in for me and my family. What does this mean for my ability to provide for me? children. My future, that does mean that they don't care about other people, but at some point it comes home. to do, I really believe this. Do I really care about this disease person think and feel about it? things that I think and feel it as well in that
telling a story absolutely and not to turn this into like a class on antiquity. This is, what aristotle called visa scheme of east those means ethics, but it really means characterisation means. How is this person I'm here from someone? I trust someone who connects with me. One who, I believe will follow through, or at least is a worthy messenger that is deserving of my time and attention and navy even support. So I I I agree. Absolutely you talk in the book. and this is gonna get now to order, but you can help me with this. If you talk about the five bell consider found in every persuasive speech, can you talk about at least a few of those that you think are critical sure. Absolutely in this at this I tell him when he's my writers block cure, so for all your listeners in yours who suffer from writers block and they have to persuade people. I write down five. Romania was attention. Problem solution
and visualization call to action. Attention means and I'll just go through real quick attention How do I get someone to pay attention quickly? You very limited amount of time with twenty seconds to do that. The problem Dennis ok, I need to show that I understand that there is a problem that meaningful to you that I'm gonna fix then I put at my solution, but what we forget off is a solution is meaningless. A solution is sort of an academic argument. Vision. alization means. What does the world look like and to your point, What is my life? Look like once that solution is in place, so ever forget straight. I have a dream. Is a vision statement. Pass a civil rights bill as a solution, and so those two things are very different and then, finally, if you've got an audience, if they agree with you, you've shown you can solve the problem. You'd give them a better view of the world. Call them to action. Make them do something sign up. Donate money,
volunteer, and you know text your congressman whatever it is, but dont wasting audience always tell people, you gotta, put verbs in your senses and asked will that do something by the way I'm blows on both interrupt you, but I love this is in the book. I found a cool from president grant. Who said I am a verb. leaders, our leaders are action takers. I love these adverbs because the speech. Were eisenhower apologises for the detail? Failure you envisioned if today fail crossed the line. The troops have been withdrawn and replaced it with I have with round. The troops and the decision is mine alone, any underlies it and it just right That's right, leaders are actually takers exactly our landings in the cherbourg havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops.
My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available, the troops, the air and the navy all that bravery and devotion to duty could do any blame or fault attaches to the attempt. It is mine alone, disorders brought. You buy staples, you're busy running your business. So it's time to let you in on a secret. You can.
Were you shop at staples yeah, it's true there. The best kept secret and shipping staples can keep her business going from shipping services to supplies and the even open, early and late seven days a week so sure that staples and get twenty five percent off you bs expressed shipping services in store. Only exclusions apply in December thirty. First for more details. Visit staples can adopt com, slash shipping at her. She part christmas candy lane we ve got more than just your neighbors light, shone like five million twinkling life, more custard, decorated, trees, family rights touch, but our own candidate is open, daily tickets. Today, at hershey park dot, we have something in psychology about the dead man rule don't ever give somebody an assignment to the dead man can do which is not an easy. Don't do this any more a dead man can do. Nothing gives somebody something to do. That's action. Oriented
fully intend to steal that. So thank you. You absolutely should because it resonates with people for sure, but you talked about getting people's attention and I don't care It's it's sunday school or if you're talking to the school board or you're running for office, you really have to get peoples tension right up front in a speech or europe talking to yourself within the first minute or two. What are some good? is that you used to get people to get people's attention right up yeah. This is one of the reasons people left ted talks is because there's something ted talks. Don't do some violating you're dead man rough, but one thing you don't do. Is you don't stop and thank everyone at the beginning? If you think about the beginning, you have wasted your time. If you need to thank him, get their attention. First then take a pause and thank them, and so the things that the desks is, do jokes, work to get attention stories, work to get attention and bolder counter
who would have statements work to get attention. You knows it says I'm here too talk about your health, and, if you listen to me for the next fifteen minutes add two years to your life. All of a sudden the audiences I gotta stick around for this, so those are three kind of relatively straightforward techniques that get attention. You work a lot with comedy: that's really important to diffuse people's defensiveness, to open them up to say, okay, you know I'll, listen, set up and go with us a little bit. How did you get focused on the comedy aspect where I these two in washington, a bunch of these dinners where politicians have to get up in defining and oh, I've worked for lahti, serious people who then say: oh now, it's funny time and nay almost shift their brains and say: ok, I'm! U, gather a folks on my team working rights and jokes. and for me I've always said no funny time. isn't just for funny time. You know jokes
really really useful tools to deliver. messages is there a memorable and they diffuse the audience and I'll give you in an old example. Back when I worked for AL gore, george w bush, was running against AL gore. Allgeier was calling all george w pushes plans risky schemes who sang it over and over risky scheme. Risky schemes and it is convention speech. George w Bush said you know Al Gore had been there at the moon watch. It would be a risky anti gravity scheme. If he had been there when the light bulb, was invented, it would be a risky anti candle scheme and it was so effective because, instead of saying AL gore's a liar Al Gore's, an exaggerated AL gore's, an alarmist. He got when to laugh, including Al Gore and AL gore, stop saying- scheme. You know so so Jim Is it is a really useful tool? and started as trying to do on doing washington funny and then trying to evolve into something more closely with, like actual
funny and those two things are not always the same year. Some it can be too inside baseball right can be something that you gotta be insider to get versus what people can understand and relate to and there's something people always get, and it's the only form of humour that is pretty much a hundred percent safe, which is making fun of yourself self deprecating humor, as you know, better than anyone. The psychology of that is when you're the speaker, your kind of l They did slightly above the audience, but by bringing yourself down a little bit- show that you can laugh yourself and you put yourself closer to the audience. Is level not really helps you connect as well? We worked with people that have a hard time doing that absolutely absolutely and it's funny, some of the most powerful people, rights being self deprecating takes a slightly her skin. You need to be able to see the humour in yourself and I won't name names, but but there are people who have been very surprised to just simply weren't ready or
to poke fun it themselves and in its always stuck with me always worries me if somebody can't take a joke and they can't make a joke about themselves, you wonder what really is going on with them. Jimmy camel many times in one of the things that he has a stew. Sometimes a red main tweets Well, I guess it is the duty of me. I've got lenin said why don't you shut up? You bald headed hillbilly, come out of it. that's funny, I told you earlier, I couldn't agree more. I could not agree more and now there's some jokes. People are art ricky ready to tap the yes, I agree like it. If you can't laugh yourself, it's it's a little worrisome, there's a difference between mean spirited, humor and humour that really is meant to be funny bay, a joke. nobody can laugh we're yeah and mean spirited right is kind of. If you punch down if you're joking, that someone who is less power than you did. Someone who's
it is less secure, I'm so self deprecating is is safeguarded, punching yourself and then you can always punch up to town jokes about powerful peoples is fair game as well that you wrote for President Biden. Where did he was vice president to begin with, yeah and then, as president, I just left the white house. Actually, when you first started writing form, was he open too So this is a really interesting story. I was assigned to him. I was working for then senator Obama at that convention in two thousand and obama basically said to me his team said to me: we need you to write, for who ever are vice presidential pic is gonna be and when it was by fine, I introduce myself. I had known him. Even I worked in the senate. He looked here. asked himself he looked skyward. He said I ve been in the senate longer than you ve been alive. What are you gonna teach me so scepticism to put it mildly, and so why,
actually have me do? Was I worked with his son bow? Who has since passed away I'm bows speech introducing Joe Biden at the convention so by sat in the room watched me and bo work together washed out together now watch me about were together, and that and when that and he was going through his briefing materials, he was half paying attention, but when that speech became a really powerful moment at the convention, that was when President Biden, then senator Biden finally said. Okay, you can roll with me, so he really had the audition by by working with his son. That was a very powerful speech. yeah. It's only six and a half minutes long, and it remains one of the speeches I'm proud of. Having worked on again we're talking politics a little and the book isn't particularly political, but but part of what worked in that speech
is something that can work for a lot of peoples. We took all of Joe binds. Liabilities are perceive liabilities and showed how they could actually be shows of strength. So you know the sunset. You know people say my dad talks too much, but even that hell at overcoming you know talked about his stutter and now he speaks with a strong, clear voice, and so he took everything that could have been a criticism and turned it into a sort of an emotional story of overcoming, and I think, that's part of my that speeches pretty effective. running for president by I describe it like being a session musicians and abandoned its released twenty albums. You know it's like people are less interested in hearing here in mind, track and its more about how are we gonna, how we get a renounced, this is tracking and apply it to today's circumstances, wrote what's he like to work with as president he's, it is again put politics aside, he's just a decent human being is just wonderfully decent. There wasn't a night when we ended up working life,
any looked at me and he said, look where you kids and I was like other their home alone there, okay and uses Let's face time you know, and so did you want to first time to check on my kids and that's the personal side. The deep Residential side is, I think, one of the things. He does that's. That's really again. Kind of a useful way for all of us to think is. You know every day is an opportunity to kind of write, a new chapter in his own story, and so he's he's quite certain about what he wants to do and what he wants to achieve and who he's therefore, and what he wants america to look like, and obviously anyone who's fallen foul politics knows that it it's it's not easy to achieve that, but just the kind of the certainty of you know who the working families are that he grew up with what the challenges are in their lives, what he can do to alleviate them and it it's really purposeful and I'll just say one other
As you know, he went around the room once with all his advisers and said how many of you have five. Twenty nine accounts. Robot your college savings accounts for your kids and everyone raise their hands, and then he said: that's why you guys don't get it? You you're a lucky place where you get to be able to put aside money for your kids. That's not where most about. are so he often describes himself. He saw, holds up his fingers and says I'm a fingertip politician and he he prides himself on kind of having his finger a little bit on the pulse of of what families are struggling with. I think that's what people We're really trying to find right now, as somebody that gets the walk, they are walking the challenges that they're facing and also a lot of the speeches you talk about in the book are historical. You talk about having multiple speeches that fit moment and even talk about the speech that was given by martin luther king
He was there and John Louis, was there in august of nineteen Sixty three talk about that allows beer and what you find and when you doug into that research, wise yes, this is. This is the first chapter in the book, and I talk about martin luther king and jean louis at that famous march on washing and neither of them quite gave the speech they wanted to give John Louis, for those who don't know was at the time, very young, using its twenties, who is leading a group called student nonviolent coordinating committee. This was kind of the act of this group in civil rights movement. and he almost didn't want to speak basically said this. This whole event is too, you know. It's it's the old guys, its powerful its labour unions. It's not that it's not activist they're, calling it a march in march on Washington. It feels more like a marquis in washington and isabel
as you said, ok, but you got it, you got to talk and he said okay, but if I do I'm going to put some stinging to some sting and boy did he ever his draft headlines like We're gonna marched through the south through the heart of dixie. The way sherman did we're going to prison our own scorched earth policy and burn Jim crow to the ground. He called patient It's a dirty and nasty word. He said he said he couldn't support Kennedy's civil rights bill and this caused an absolute uproar. The march was really very delicate. There are a lot of different speeds Is there a lot of different people who had to be satisfied? Most importantly, president Kennedy, who wanted to be supportive of the civil rights movement that was kind of kind of back and forth on it. He was late to that. And so here comes louis in twice- and he just wants to give a stinging fires speech and the night before
his draft started. Circulating and people freaked out and part of I put this chapter first is one of my jobs has been helping oversee speech, riding at conventions democratic index, business conventions run, it is, and it is so hard when everyone is nominally on the same page to direct nice people have their own agendas and John Louis's agenda was the young persons agenda and so everyone Dayton John. Please change your remarks. Please change your lungs martin luther king. To John listen said. John is doesn't sound like you and lucid yet, It sounds like us. You know it sounds like the young people, and so finally, what happened is a philip randolph who's kind of the grandfather of the movement. Basically, louis with tears in his eyes and Louis said. How could I say
no saying no to the ethical brand off would be like saying no to mother teresa and so in the book. I found this amazing photo of jean louis kind of retreating at the march on Washington and he's sitting under Abraham way. His arm in the lake immemorial furiously rewriting his speech to make it ok to her for a fellow and asked an? And so what I see in this chapter and by the way each chapter is not Did not the UN delivered speeches about the drama that moment the back and forth? Why things about one where the other and what I seen that chapter is you know what, if people, instead of hearing about the dream heard about the nightmare, because John Lewis wanted to tell him about the nightmare and doctor king didn't really want to tell him about the dream he had given a version of the. I have a dream speech, hundreds of times before the march on
shoot him and his advise. You wanted him to give a much stronger speech that they call normalcy never again. In other words, America's never get a return to normal see. This is our new normal. We deal with it and at the end of his speech, king later said, the toughest part about giving a speech is like your flying around in circles, and you don't know where to land
and he didn't know where to land, and so he sort of cut off the end of his prepared remarks and decided he was going to land. With this I have a dream riff that he had done many times before, and so afterwards king's advisers were kind of frustrated. They felt like he had done, sort of a warmed over greatest hits album, and I remind speakers when I talked to them that it's the hundredth time. You said the exact same thing that people finally listen so king didn't want to tell them about the dream. John Lewis wanted to tell him about the nightmare, and if each of them had had their way, it would have been a very, very different march, and what you're doing with your face the flowers have best friends. I don't know Some answers can only be found in nature. Discover the unsearchable visit, discover the forest dot org to find a trail near you brought to you by the united states forest service, and the ad council check it out. I've got a secret with robin mcgraw, with Eric beauty bar known as the floor to the stars and king of roses: designing
opulent arrangements for allister's elite fashion houses in luminaries around the world. I robbed and Eric talk about some of his most over the top celebrity flower arrangements and his experience with grabbing analyzed, beautiful opportunities that you don't want to miss. This be sure to subscribe, follow and listen to apple, podcast spotify or how ever your listening? Now it's interesting that one thing is planned. Another thing is done and then that clearly has got be honest lord list of the most famous moving memorable speeches ever given would you agree o absolute? we absolutely and it's funny bureau, because it almost didn't happen and before we talk but some of the others. I'm curious what you think about writing today. versus riding even ten years ago,
Get universities when I went to see you're originally in the late sixties. The idea was that a university was a place where you were exposed to differ being viewpoint, you were hungry for differing viewpoints. You wanted people to come to campus that didn't think like you, so yeah could be expose. You could listen, you could learn, you could challenge and now, instead of there. It seems like a lotta universities are excluding people of a different mindset. A material percentage of students in the survey. Recently said they thought it was ok, a yell down a speaker that had a different point of you then you they object. They complain they petition to exclude speakers that don't think
like them. Is writing today, more delicate than it was then or is still the same challenge. It's it's different an end. I would the way I have seen it is dead even ten years ago, and then certainly fifty years ago in a hundred years ago, if you look at speeches lincoln douglas today, it's after fireside chats speakers were speaking to a broad audience. People who supported them people who support them, and so these speeches, when you look back, they spend much more time to explain here is why I believe this here's the evidence. I want a martian supported us now. I find it speakers are much less likely to be speaking too broad audiences and their often speaking only to their audience to their supporters. And so to me the evolution has been from explanation to activation.
And so speakers right now more often are devoting their energies to activating the people who already support them as opposed to explaining and working to persuade people who might be neutral or who might or might not support them. And so that's the change I've seen and I think something is really lost in that because I think more time spent by everyone trying to explain why they feel the way is time well spent. Do you surrender to that? As a speech writer, we know confirmation. Bias is a real thing. We know that if you present compelling evidence to people suffering from confirmation, by as it actually causes them to deepen, thereby us not change their bias. So do you actually say- There's no point in that. We need to activate the base. We need to
Oh belies the people that believe in what we believe in a bit a corporation warning to do a particular marketing strategy of its politicians. Why, to move a certain policy forward or whatever do you just try to activate the base and accept the fact that you're not gonna, persuade people on the other side. What you do as a speech writer now yeah, it's a couple things. One is you you certainly there is a. There is a temptation to say: look, I'm just going to talk to the people who are open to hearing me and the other thing is. We often often look for unlikely allies and unlikely advocates people who you would not expect, because the only way that I've seen evidence to overcome their confirmation and exactly what you cited is really it's really challenging right you presents, with evidence that conflicts with their views- and it doesn't get them to change their mind, they dig in but one thing,
does seem to work a little bit is if you can find someone who can take. Take that that person who has conflicting views on a journey The did note that someone who has gone on a similar journey as them- and you know whether it's a ah you know former special forces soldier talking about their journey on guns, You know the examples like this where you meet people where they are and you dont mark, though, for believing something different, you don't look down on them, you you basically say I get it. I get why you believe this, but you know there are lots of people who share that view and uneven they have changed over time, sort of giving people permission to change, so you try to do that, but if I'm being honest, you don't spend all your time doing that you try to do it because it's the right thing to do in its it's. It's persuasive.
Be persuasive, but you really. Ultimately it's almost a victory these days. If people who disagree, if you just get him to feel a little less negative about the speaker personally, that damn it as far as your able to go, if you're talking in way that you know is a group that you know is pretty dug in you think, there's a value to someone. is giving a speech to say, recognise the that you may be so from confirmation by is that you may be so and trends that you shut the data window, so you're not press, gazing anymore but you're different than that you can be better than that. I'm challenging you to hear differently than that to me. Do you think people respond to that a little bit a list.
the people to respond to challenges? I think people don't like people, you know just sort of you know the feeding them happy talk, so I think challenging the audiences is good and I do think people respond to that end, and I go back to us it's funny to do to professionally do something that you could have done with a quillan anchorages granted granite, but I go back to this. This Aristotle idea that the whole idea of of lovers and pay those need us is is get people to see to understand what strings are being pulled? When you hear someone speaking to you by the original fear about speed treading was it. It was some form of dark magic that just by your work, You could get people to march into battler or hopefully change their minds and so I think when you show people how their strings are being pulled. It does help them to take a step
but he didn't you gotta de emotional eyes these moments, because one of the things when we talk about story is story, is more powerful than data story, is more powerful than fact all the time and and we often say we're thinking animals with feelings, but were really feeling animals who occasionally thick and and so that's one of the channel. Oh boy could not agree more from a psychological standpoint in litigation work I did. I was almost always not always, but almost always defence, which met we went second in france. The jury is applied. I've got to go first. and I always would Also, the lawyers to say you ve got to deal with the fact that primacy is key. I mean whoever tells there sir First, the right on a blank slate know, you had a commander. I saw that I used to tell em ass, the jury grown up. His kids
how many of you were ever running around barefooted. You know you get a lot of people say. Yes, how many of you in the summer would get out barefoot in your art across and asphalt highway in august, and you get about halfway across and realize, oh, my god, by feeder on fire em They would raise your hand say I haven't had happened. What you do well. You either ran across real fashion. You terminal went back, but you didn't stay there and burst into flame pain is motivator you been told this story and nobody likes conflict, so you ran to one side or the other. Now my job is I've got to get you to come, back out on a hot highway and come all the way back across to the other side and you are loath to do that. You are not going to want to do that, but you gotta give me a shot here and was amazing how you would start seeing people
would laugh and then they would cut a nod and it's ok. So let's go back. You broke the lamp other, beat you your mother to tell you it was there, so you didn't get there First, I am that second kid you gotta give me a shot and it was amazing if people would laugh a little bit, they would listen, even if it was a murder trial, no matter what they could laugh in a murder trial and give you a shot yeah absolutely and by the way laughter is almost more important in serious moments. You know Abraham lincoln, at the height of the civil war. You know crack jokes and cabinet meetings in when no one laughed. He said, gentlemen, why don't you laugh like you need this medicine as much as I do but you reminded me of something I didn't say in the previous answer, which is there's one other thing you can do. someone really disagrees with. You is finding area of agreement if you are able to give even the tiniest, throw the tiniest bow to the to the person who disagrees with you any court when you're, probably not in it, down to the prosecution, but if you can find a little area where you can say you know you, you said it
and I agree with you a hundred percent there. Now I take agreement. I go in a slightly different direction. The dac gains you a ton of credible His you show that you're you're willing to be open minded and it helps them sort of open their mind. A little. As well, but I loved the hot asphalt she is record relate to and also agree what you just said. We called it modified maya culpa. You can throw a bone on something. That's not actionable exactly exactly. You could agree with him on something is not going to be on the jury charge. That is not an element of the crime agree them all all that, but don't agree with him on anything, it's gonna be asking the jury, room, yeah, totally green tone, you can buy a lot of credibility with stuff that doesn't matter talk about, that Nixon's resignation did he actually write a speech ray fusing to resign that he never gave he did. He did and so this this.
In this chapter. You know people they think of Nixon right now. He's almost become kind of like a cartoonish figure like a sword sweaty you now dark stubble looking kind of evil, but we forget the guy was charming. He was persuasive, it's early in his career. He was in real trouble. He was in danger of being thrown off the ticket for eisenhower. He's is running for vice president, and he gave a famous speech. That's now called the checkers speech where he basically said he was being accused of of kind of a campaign slush fund which at the time was scandalous and now is basically legal and he and he and he basically did what What people call these financial striptease? He basically laid his life there to everyone. He said this is how much money we have. This is how much I inherited. This is how much I earn. My wife can afford a fur coat, but she has respect.
More republican cloth code and finally said, and there is one gift we got and it's this dark chapters and I'm sorry when I read the kids love him or not returning and it was incredibly charming speech really began. This area era of of politicians. Being relate above and king and confessional anyway and, and it was so effective that hundreds of thousands of people wrote to the republican national committee, even though Nixon forgot to tell them to write to the republican national committee saying You should stay on the ticket, and so he had saved his own political backside once by giving a speech and when in the midst of impeachment, he thought maybe I can or another rabbit out of this. Maybe I can do it again, and so he was prepared to do something quite similar. He whispered
here to say: look I've seen the evidence against me any good. He doesn't good, but here is why I think I should stay as president and he put together an argument with with ray price, with his speech writer, the time where he basically said we ve had a president assassinated Jeff k. We ve had a president basically run out of office. The johnson, don't we need for national continuity me to stay on, especially because the evidence you see against me again. It looks bad, but reality it isn't that that, and so Nixon looked at it and he actually considered it in thought. Maybe he can be persuasive enough, whatever mistakes that have been made and they are many whatever the measure of my own responsibility for those mistakes. I firmly believe that I have not committed any act of commission or a mission that justifies removing a duly elected president from office. If
did believe that I had committed such an act. I would resigned long ago for me just it is through, will have cost for the country in the short run. months ahead, will not be easy for any of us. in the long run. Whatever the outcome, the it will be a more stable form of government for are more damaging than the ordeal of a senate trial. Far more, damaging that even the conviction and removal of a precedent would be the descent towards chaos the president's could be removed short of impeachment and trial. For the western world governmental Stability has reached almost epidemic proportions in the united states with in the last dozen years, one president was assassinated. The next was in effect driven from office when he did even seek reelection an album
stands on the verge of impeachment by the house of representatives. Confronted with calls for his resignation in order to make the process of removal easy. this country bears enormous responsibilities to itself and to the world. If we are to meet responsibilities in this and future presidencies. We must not let this office be destroyed or what, for such easy prey to those who would exulting the breaking of the president that the game comes and national habit. What I found Interesting about this chapter is throughout our history. We ve had leaders who have tried to hang onto power even when it was even when it was time to go You don't really giuliani after September eleven made a very similar argument about staying honest as mayor of new york. Sang look just for continuity. In this. formative of upheaval and so Nixon considered it and he considered it, but ultimately he decided not to do it.
And I have one other chapter where a speaker decided not to give a speech. And this is the mayor of Boston, a guy named Kevin white in the nineteen seventies. Boston had a terrible bossing crisis, it wasn't just the south and a federal judge had ordered and to integrate boston city schools, and he and there was violence and it was. It was just a terrible chapter in austin's history and people were injured and ultimately he decided he had prepared a speech saying I'm not going to do it, I'm not integrating the schools, that's it and ultimately he decided to back down too because It's one of his advisers told me, as I was doing research for the book, there's something worse then than telling people something they don't want to hear and that's telling them something they do want to hear, and then being able to follow through on, ran so and so nixon kind of new did he couldn't follow through on this vital.
in office, if he laid out all the reasons he should stay and then had to resign, it was impeached that would be worse than just residing and their cabin white in Boston. Basically told peoples mean they didn't want to hear and amazingly enough- and he said, look I don't like it, you don't like it, but those are the rules and we're going to do it and he won. real action and I just want to read one quote from him at that time- which he actually said in his speech, which I think is a good lesson for for politicians today he said there no odor save death, worse than that of a public official, too frightened and fearful to say above a whisper what he honestly beliefs and and white basically said so. What this judge is doing is the right thing to do. It may not be fun, but it's the rule, we're going to do it, and I just love those examples. Yeah that's powerful. It's interesting that you talk about the space at next, never gay, because the one he actually did give was real
it seemed to me diametrically opposite of the one he didn't give you didn't give the one saying it's good for the country of I stay on and the money was it's good for the country. If I leave I'm leaving, not because you anything other than its best for the country right, it's easier. I guess we call a justification in search of a conclusion. Your children conclusions same justification exactly it was sacrifice on his part. The exact is either way one is, things, because I still and live through it. So much just because of the timing in my life, but Of kay's involvement with the bay of pigs and the cuban missile crisis and all talk about that speech that what is this is so dramatic. Ninety six, into october. Kennedy is presented with evidence that their missile sites in cuba,
and he is immediately told by his military advisers we gotta go in embalmer, we gotta go in and bomb them before their operational, and so they had put together a plan. Eight hundred air strikes on cuba the air force general curtis, monet, nickname bombs away with me. You know he wanted to go right at kennedy divided. He had created a group of advisers And any put Robert Kennedy in charge and he said well, she gonna look at two different approaches. One is the air strike, is airstrikes, one is a naval blockade and fact. You're gonna presently recommendations to the president in a day and a half or two days and the first thing in europe foundations is going to be a speech explaining to the nation why this is the correct course of action, and I just love that as a speech writer, because there's this idea, he can't explain it. Maybe it's not,
a course of action. So we now so soul- and this is by the way in history as the first use of the term hawks index. The airstrike group were the hawks, the blockade group or the picasso doves war hawks and picasso does. and so there's an airstrike draft, explaining airstrip and what we didn't know. The time isn't, the missiles were already operation, So the airstrike would have been an incredibly terrible outcome, because these were nuclear missiles. Command was was in in the hands of the missile commanders on it around didn't have to call moscow will begin. But in this speech there's a apparent that ago, a bracket expression and this is when, when people are writing- and they don't know what the answers are going to be or what the outcome is going to be it They basically say you know too calm we're gonna feel slightly and here's what the blank said. It said
follows a description of first reports of action, words in this speech there's a build up. We ve undertaken these. Strikes and then they just have a black and now with a feeling, after it happens, we're going to fill in the blank, the world be sure that our choice of rapid shore and minimum force was me it only after all, other alternatives had been most searching me surveyed every other course of action, involved, risks of delay and of obfuscation, which were wholly unacceptable and with no prospect of reach, Progress in removing this intolerable communist nuclear intrusion into the americas, the size speed in secrecy the deployment? The bare faced falsehood surrounding and the newly revealed character of the conspirators involved made plain that oh appeal, no warning no offer would shift them from their course.
Prolonged delay, would have met enormously, increase, danger and me It warning would greatly and lodged the loss of life on all sides. It became my duty to act? There's a great quote there on your grip on your headstone. This year you were born and a year you die, you die and a tiny dashing between the god that tiny dashes everything both in the book. I say to humanity to history, that parent, that echo is everything what would have happened if we with we started air strikes and had you now have the eastern seaboard vaporized in a nuclear power, our attack and it absolutely could. It could have happened and it was so harrowing when people found this out that everyone involved with writing. The speech denied having read some really one of them. One of the mysteries within the mystery that I have in the book is, I heard enough
forensic out was to look at the handwriting to say who's handwriting, as this is it, George, the national security adviser, is it is it tat sorenson who had been kennedys? Who was a conscientious chapter and world were to incentives items. In thinkable. I didn't write it, and so I go in and I and I and I solve the mystery and I won't. I won't keep your your listeners in suspense, but TED sorensen who denied having written it, actually wrote almost all of it. What others chimed in- and I thought is it possible you busy lying and then I thought about my own experience were written. You no support for use of force, resolutions and things like that, and sometimes something- and you know this fashionably? Sometimes something is so hard to confront that you ve done Did you really do forget and I believe science and believed what he said when he said he didn't write it, but it's just it's one of these incredible moment in history. This is one of the reasons I think,
it's just one of several reasons. I'm talking about before we're done it. I think people, I to read undelivered, because I thought there are so many things that have happened in history, behind the scenes that p don't know in realising close. We were to actual Nuclear attack just based on the decision. This wasn't like while this was a longshot that this could have happened. This wasn't a long shot at all. This was just is likely to have gone. this direction. Is the blockade? I think people are going to be standard at some of this and I think So the lessons in here about life and finding the courage to stand up and have a voice? and on that and not be a passive.
Lower and speak your mind and a thoughtful way. This is a powerful book Jeff and I think you ve done amazing. Job in poland is together out of I have to say well thanks for saying that that's one of the things someone asked me what the theme of the book is in initially, I said: well, I dunno that there's a theme, it's fifty. interesting chapters in history and then I thought Actually you look at them. There is a thing and the theme is using the position you have to make the difference that you can can make all the difference for a community accompany a country in the world You know history doesn't happen right, we say history, we sort of think history happened. The way it happened, because that's the way it had to happen and what this book says is absolutely not it's. It's the decisions, people of of conscience and bravery make every day. That's what makes history and everyone has that power right. I think one of the things that really jumped out to me about it. I think people look at the way history,
treats leaders. We look at these people as though there some way bigger than life and they have some vision. that she, those them outcomes that we can't see anything. Well, sometimes think that they're less than because they're conflicted because I don't see a clear path at the time and they would think well. This should be clear to me. It isn't always clear to these leaders. They are conflicted down to the minute they step up to the mike, sometimes they don't know which speech or which paragraph or whether the red. What's in the are not there fell bull just like everyone else is now like they ve got some special code that gives them the outcome before anybody else knows it. Everybody has those flick, absolutely, and I think one of the examples that I love in this book is Dwight eisenhower at you know right before didi
he did this before every engagement battle. He wrote an apology. He basically imagined what if today goes the other way, what if it fails, and and he he apparently this was one of the things he did. He would do it before every engagement battle it folded up putting his wallet, things went well, he'd, tear it up, throw it in the trash this one day he captain while for recent weeks, found it later tossing trash can his person waits at another swans, probably a keeper, but this idea later, on years later he was asked about this failure speech, and he said what was I I do hide from you. You know I planned this thing I had set in motion Success or failure that was gonna beyond me in there be no sense trying to hide from it. So I planned everything I hoped for the best but I also was prepared to accept the worst, because I still thought was the right thing to do and the very, very short speech but its ears
such a perfect lesson in the language of leadership of responsibility, taking an end of confidence without don't. Press readiness with scenarios, for example, does to get away politics from it always told him down get seal. I where you feel like you have to know the answer to everything you don't. But you can say as a leader, I don't know, why they did that. And I'm not sure exactly what the Cs was, but I can tell you, I didn't do it, but I support the people who did I'm the leader, I didn't do it, but I support people who did I hired them. They work for me stand behind them. I didn't, but I suppose those who did leaders have to step up, and I think one of the themes of this book was that these people were fallible, they did have multiple speeches, they did have doubts, they weren't sure, but they still took action and
thing all add to that. The at all, love your example of counselling seat years is, I often think it through important for leaders to say the thing that only they can say. In other words, what is Air connection. With this I had a boss he's to say you know, started spouting something that sounded like it was written by a lawyer for sounded like written by someone else, they would say blue suit. Red tie here to lie and I always say you don't wanna- be blue suit. Had retired you're lie, dig it out, how do you actually react as a person before you start thinking about your position and so I think I would- if I add to your- see your advice- I think that those things in combination with a very important and very powerful it's funny of watchdog, each time and again respond to them. taking ownership to saying I don't know, but then only what they do, no and being human beings about it. People know that when they hear it,
that for a long, long time where the different phase- and two years ago I never even heard the word Zoom. and now we ve got people in corporate america in politics, in all different walks of life that are having to deliver what are intended to be powerful messages. To a little dot on their computer, yet I and even look at the screen to see the gallery of people because then there not making eye contact, they ve got a look at the little camera to the side. What's the impact of this, and you think we're we're gonna get back to the real eye, contact
personal interaction that we ever saw tile? I love this question because I had to help oversee speech. Writing for the first national political convention that was totally on zoom, and this was this- was the the twenty twenty medical convention in one of the things we found out very quickly is. Five minutes is a long time. You know there were more three two minute speeches, then than they had ever been before. The idea of ten or twelve minutes face to camera really really difficult. The other thing you realize is it's not only the words that matter location, sends a message. Backdrop sends a message: you gotta be a little bit of a cinema tiger for railway joke about oliver, our curated backdrops. But you know here I put a book over my shoulder. Helping people say all that's what the cover looks like, but it is really really tough to hold an audience on a screen and any
the skill, and so we found shorter shorter, is better. You know much more direct, much more, used, dont use words to say everything. You know use examples the most memorable part of the convention- was when we did the fifty states roll call- and the camera went every different state in rhode island. He had a guy holding, you know, played a column. Aren't you know it's like you know, show something if the goal of the speeches to persuade by being a person who has sort has enough now to be persuasive, in zoom, you can find other ways to do a little bit it at work. They did the words, don't need to carry everything you make a point in the book about this, and it is true that we tend to talk about. I hundred twenty hundred and thirty words a minute I say my wife has guest up, about one sixty, but when you
don't have the room and you don't have noise and you don't have applause, and you don't have reactions you cover a lot more verbal ground in a minute, then you can otherwise, if he's talking to a camera without all of that feed back a noisy and get up to. Well. You say in the book. A hundred fifty sixty seventy words a minute. So you can get a lot more said in less time. Can I do, I will say there is no substitute for that feedback for the energy in the room. Into, and so this gets back to the original question like we can go back to in person. I think in many ways we are, I would just took my door is to a to a concert, the other night and they were blown away. You know and- and they said like the energy- it's not just the music right, it's the it's, the energy and the,
so you know a lot of when we gather to to speak to each other to rally together. Yes, the words but also its tat feeling of of common cause, and I think that one of the things were creating and getting back to a little bit, yeah just finished my twenty a season and year before last, I did a hundred and seventy five shows with no audience that was just talking to camera in a big studio, and like a really crummy perform, the holiday inn on Sunday night turntables out there with all people can't hear me, no energy is terrible. It's weird! weird and I think about you know. I think you know president Biden. First year of his presidency. Just talking to a camera, and- and you know you want
energy need the energy you want to see. What's landing, you must use reacting. I I you know I had a chance to work on one of the comedy show at the kennedy center in washington, d c and one of the, I can share his name with Steve Martin was up there and he was practicing stage in the arena was empty and he kept working is material till he could surely ushers and custodians lie in other media by people in the room, but he needed to know where he was getting his laughs, even if it was only five people, so the idea of doing that to an empty You know the real prose they want to know where their beats out, where they, where they can breathe, where they build energy. There's some called, as you know, minimal, encourages where the people are nodding. They're, making eye contact there, giving you feed acted. Ok, you can move on, got that point gotcha or don't have Other looking at you like a dead trout, then you know. Ok, you haven't landed,
you gotta make this point again until I get it because you don't have a link in the chain until they get this one. And if you don't have that back your lost yeah and in the rear get. Speakers are looking for that minimal encouragement, their feeding off. It is so important because it's like a compass how important or sound bites when you write a speech were somebody. Are there three or four things? You hope, land and get picked up yes, absolutely and an eye for an eye right, soundbites from sound barks, rightly twitter. We see snarking one liners that are kind of mean get a laugh, that's not to be a sound bite, A sound bite is when you actually summarize an entire argument in a really memorable way, and I feel like I'm doing a lot awake. All all time is desperately famous one julius Caesar I can, Hmm, I saw I conquered right here lot more to say about the sack
the city of Zella, seventy six b c. But if all you here is that you got the message, you know what happened and so good sound bite really does summarizing argument in a memorable way and so especially now in the age of twitter and by the way like it used to be about forty seven seconds on the evening news in the nineteen sixties by the eighties. It was like nine seconds now. It's probably five seconds or two hundred and eighty character if you're on twitter so soundbites, her more and more compressed, but you still want away to find a way to memorably summarize the entirety of your argument, It was something that people can repeat, but some they can use in a sentence if it's something that vague and save for you again to somebody else, it so important and I think soundbites bad rap, because its l If it's a sink! The acted it illiterates and can be said quickly. You shouldn't
really demain how him Fourteen it is, if you ve thought of it in it's a good way to say it. That's a good thing. Yet you are so I am people who run for president I used to joke that. If you gave him the sound bite, that's the way the cookie crumbles. He would say like that's how the baked confection falls apart, like he was so allergic to soundbites. But I'm with you. I don't think you know, I think some people think, because their catch either something intellectually dishonest about him. I could not disagree more, I think giving your audience a way to summarize your argument in way that they remember, and they can repeat, it is exactly that's exactly what you want to do, and so you know I'm always looking for a soundbite scourging Parana bumper sticker. It I mean it's wrong, that's exactly right, exactly right, that's for sure! So what next for you. What do you work and are now so. One of the things when I wrote this book- I there a couple speeches I couldn't find each other, the interesting ones,
lisa rice, as was about to give us each on september, eleventh about missile defence downs, though classified I know where it is, but there were some did. I did. I knew were out there and I couldn't find and so I swear. I hoped that having this book, delivered out their people. Knowing oh wow, there's a place for these interests and delivered speeches? I hope someone come out of the woodwork and some already have one of former defence secretary donald Rumsfeld, skies emailed me and said: member went down trump you talked about the no known and unknown unknowns in Iraq will believe it or not we had speeches written for several of those different outcomes, and so so I'll come gonna keep updating and keep writing. I am continuing to help out some kind isn't this leaders, actors athlete celebrities with their speeches and I'm doing Something I have not done in twenty five years, which is I'm taking a little bit of vacation and and figuring out. What's next will limit
when I went through everything that you've been doing over these last twenty five years I can attest you damn sure deserve some time off. As you have been working with both hands and burning the candle at both ends, as for sure yeah. Well, I I had. I had more hair when I started to so you know I like, and I'm feeling it yeah oh you're playing on the roof. Yes, well, listen everybody. I want to say again. The book is undelivered. they never heard speeches that would have re written history and we did not talk about them all because I didn't want to just read the book to you: He talks about Hillary Clinton, acceptance speech. He talks the emperor hirohito. Let me there are so many profound moments in here, but if you do, consider yourself a historian. If you dont consider yourselves somebody that, though I get I don't care what he was going to say
that is not a reason not to read this book. I'm telling you this book is full of profile. And information about how You express yourself how you can talk your children about expressing themselves about? What's important, about getting your message across how to do that. there's so much information in here that when you pick this you will not be able to put it down, you will buy ten copies and give it to people. I promise you. This is I really novel approach to look at it. three and congratulations on this Jeff. It's a bell, ringer, thanks for saying that I really appreciate it, and that was indeed my goal. Is you know not just what? What what if but also a bit of a how to, and so I loved it, that's one of the things he found there. Thank you for that in reality. In the end, the generosity of your time. Well, a priest,
you coming on and I hope we can talk again. So I would love to have thanks so much and we are bombarded with all types of information all day long, but here's something useful. You can level up with europe to earn college credit, gif corporate training and internships. Europe helps you get a job. You want trade up to europe tap now to learn more.
Transcript generated on 2022-12-08.