Reagan Persuasion: Charm, Inspire, and Deliver a Winning Message


Persuade, mentor, and motivate like the Great Communicator

More than just an influential speaker, Ronald Reagan was a master of all types of communication and employed his personal warmth and charm to rally Americans around his vision. Now, former Reagan speechwriter James C. Humes shows how you can replicate Reagan's ability to influence others and utilize his communication tools when interacting with ...

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Reagan Persuasion: Charm, Inspire, and Deliver a Winning Message

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Persuade, mentor, and motivate like the Great Communicator

More than just an influential speaker, Ronald Reagan was a master of all types of communication and employed his personal warmth and charm to rally Americans around his vision. Now, former Reagan speechwriter James C. Humes shows how you can replicate Reagan's ability to influence others and utilize his communication tools when interacting with colleagues and partners. Don't just rely on words, instead:
• Communicate with gestures, postures, and even clothing
• Learn the power of podium presence
• Fine-tune your humor and voice for each unique audience

Praise for James C. Humes's
Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Reagan:
"As a student of speech, I very much enjoyed this intriguing historic approach to public speaking. Humes creates a valuable and practical guide."
-Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO, FOX News

"I love this book. I've followed Humes's lessons for years, and he combines them all into one compact, hard-hitting resource. Get this book on your desk now."
-Chris Matthews, Hardball with Chris Matthews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402238406
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 969,007
  • Product dimensions: 7.94 (w) x 5.16 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

James C. Humes was Ronald Reagan's speechwriter. He also wrote speeches for George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower. He has served as a communications advisor to major U.S. corporations, including IBM and DuPont. He is the author of twenty-three other books.

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Read an Excerpt

From The Fifteen Secrets of the Great Communicator

Ronald Reagan was more than just "the Great Communicator." He was the giant political personality of our time. No one would call Reagan a political philosopher, least of all himself. But Reagan would profoundly reshape the political dialogue in America. Just as his early hero Franklin Roosevelt made liberalism the dominant American political philosophy, a half-century later Reagan would make the majority of his country's citizens accept conservatism as their worldview. But, if Franklin Roosevelt promised more government as the solution to society ills, Reagan would say the government was "not the solution but part of the problem." Reagan, like Teddy Roosevelt, found the White House "a bully pulpit" for promoting his views and persuading Americans to adopt them.

"Won the War Without Firing a Shot"
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said of Reagan, "He won the Cold War without firing a shot." Certainly the U.S.'s overwhelming superiority in nuclear defense systems played an important part. But as powerful as the weaponry were Reagan's words. When most of our academic experts on the USSR, including those of our State Department as well as the British Foreign Office, projected the continuation of the Soviet Empire and the Cold War for at least two more decades, Reagan prophesized to the British Parliament an earlier date for its collapse. Reagan asserted: "Marxism is on the ash heap of history." That phrase resonated in the Soviet satellite countries east of the Iron Curtain, and countries like Poland responded to Reagan's challenge.

Seller of the Free Market to the Free World
For decades, American presidents had shrunk back from praising the virtues of capitalism. To say something positive about the profit incentive was like defending millionaires. In speaking in Western Europe, where just about all of the countries had socialist or social democratic governments, American presidents had shied away from lauding the "profit motive" as a key to economic growth. Profit was to many a euphemism for greed. Reagan was the first president to proclaim the greatness of the free market society, as well as freedom. Rather than echoing the defensiveness of previous presidents, he mounted an offensive on behalf of capitalism.

"Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!"
The citizens of East Germany, also known as the German Democratic Republic, were altogether painfully aware of the different standards of living on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and proved to be a receptive audience. When Reagan pointed out there was no record of any West Germans climbing the Wall to go into East Germany, or of any Austrians trying to cross into Hungary, his message filtered into Eastern Europe, triggering a rising wave of protests that began in Poland. Reagan's words spread the seeds of counterrevolution. His demand to the Soviet leader in Berlin, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," would be the rallying call for East Germans a decade after he proclaimed that communism was on the "ash heap of history."

Readers need to be reminded that before Reagan entered the White House in 1981, Republicans had not controlled the House in Congress since 1954 or the Senate since 1956. Most of the big, populous eastern states were dominated by Democrats, and so was much of the rural south. The Democrats were the overwhelming majority party. In 1981, when the Democratic House of Representatives, led by Speaker Tip O'Neill, opposed President Reagan's tax cutting reforms, as well as his call for deregulation, Reagan went over the head of Congress by appealing in his speeches to the American people, and his programs of cutting taxes and red tape prevailed.

Great Persuader
Reagan was not only "the Great Communicator" but he was also the Great Persuader. Lord Bryce, author of The American Commonwealth, wrote in 1908, "The great president would be one who could both stir audiences at the stump, as well as sway members of the caucus." In other words, he could sell to mass audiences, as well as one-on-one. Reagan won hearts and minds in his private conversations and in his public addresses, as well. His affability and choice of words melted the potential hostilities of adversaries and created a relaxed atmosphere for an exchange of views. He made it seem effortless and not strained, but he prepared for those meetings with sedulous care.

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Table of Contents

The Fifteen Secrets of the Great Communicator 1
Chapter I: Preparation Is Paramount 7
Chapter II: The Take-Away Parable 17
Chapter III: Clarion Closers 33
Chapter IV: The Take-Away Zinger 49
Chapter V: The Reagan Recipe for Humor 61
Chapter VI: Podium Presence 77
Chapter VII: Voice Is Verse 87
Chapter VIII: Read a Speech Like Reagan 95
Chapter IX: Eat, Drink, and Be Sorry 105
Chapter X: No PowerPoints, Graphs, or Slides 111
Chapter XI: "Case the Joint" 121
Chapter XII: "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics" 133
Chapter XIII: Acing the Q&A 141
Chapter XIV: Brevity Is Beauty 157
Chapter XV: "Sellin' Is Believin'" 165
Ten Tips to Speak Like Reagan 177

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