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Mis-Communicator of the Week: Paul Ryan

20th July 2016


It’s back to politics this week but with a lesson for anyone who is speaking in public.

It is a great technique to begin a speech or talk with something that will grab your audience - sometimes called a S.T.A.R. moment (Something They Always Remember). Equally finding a way to build a rapport with your audience early on can make the rest of your speech a breeze. I imagine this was what was going through this week’s award winner’s mind when they stepped onto stage.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, was on stage to address delegates at the Republican convention in Cleveland. As he began he twirled a “Terrible Towel” - a lucky symbol of the Pittsburgh Steelers American football team who are massive rivals of the local Cleveland team, the Browns.

While his audience was made up, in the majority, of delegates from the Pittsburgh area, who he must have thought would have welcomed the gesture, it allowed the media to paint him as an idiot for supporting the wrong team, others to question his loyalty to his own team, and many to point out how insensitive he was to his hosts in Cleveland.

In a heartbeat Ryan, who many see as a potential saviour of the Republican Party if Donald Trump is soundly beaten in this year’s presidential election, brought further scorn and ridicule on his party. As respected campaign strategist and former White House adviser Jim Messina said on Twitter “Cluelessness of the GOP [Republicans] summed up in one picture”. Ouch. For a terribly mis-guided attempt at populism Paul Ryan is my Mis-Communicator of the Week.

Mis-Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.


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