Christian Lindner Fdp 2012

Rage speech by Christian Lindner

Christian Lindner Rage SpeechPresent convincingly and engage the audience: Not everyone can do that. Leaders, in particular, should have the communication skills to captivate audiences and, most importantly, convince them of their own words. In the following recording, the German FDP party leader Christian Lindner proves how to make use of rhetorical elements.

Visibly irritated by the interjection of a colleague from the SPD, Lindner reacts energetically. He takes up the words of the heckler again, addresses him, but also his party colleague, the prime minister, directly, repeats many statements, leaves nothing unheard, switches on pauses so that the listeners can digest what has been said. His arguments are particularly convincing when he supplements them with gestures. From minute 1:40, for example, he incessantly raises his right arm and gives the beat with his arm. A fascinating reinforcement of his point.

“There you have one.” and “I’ll tell you one more thing”: phrases he repeats three times, just to score one more point at the end. Definitely word requests to learn from.

You too can use the techniques described. Why not do it at your next presentation?

  1. Speak forcefully.
  2. Repeat sentences that threaten to be lost in the applause or noise or that are particularly important to you. This can also be a useful technique at the beginning of a presentation when some participants in the audience are still talking to each other.
  3. Refer to content that has been mentioned before.
  4. Give the beat with your arm on important statements.

Click here for the video of Christian Lindner. The video lasts only 2:45 minutes. Look at it. It’s worth it.

Datensicherheit erklärt am Beispiel eines Einkaufs in einer Bäckerei

“How do I tell my child?”

“How do I explain it to my child?” This is a challenge not only for my own children, but often also for adults. If you sometimes feel the same way, I recommend the following short video. It draws attention to the topic of data security. Probably a subject that seems to be very boring. In my opinion, however, Stiftung Warentest has prepared it so well that it gets the message across immediately.

In the video we see a daily situation in the bakery. Customers buy baked goods. The salesgirl asks extraordinary questions. The customers are irritated – and rightly so, in my opinion. Thanks to the change of the frame (re-framing)  our eyes are opened: without much thought we give our data to an an app (and online websites), which we would never do in the real world.

I think the video is good for many reasons. In my opinion, particularly from the following three:

  1. Title:”If the saleswoman was an app. (Hidden Camera)”
  2. First comes the teaser, then the solution.
  3. We connect to a situation that we are familiar with: purchasing in the bakery.

Firstly, the title arouses curiosity. The hypothetical idea that a salesgirl could be an app makes you curious. This is topped with the two words in the parenthesis: “hidden camera”. Anyone who has ever seen a program with a hidden camera will be fascinated once and for all.

The second reason: only at second 57 and 1 minute 23 do the key points come into play: the core question “Would you agree with it in the real world?” and the core statement “Facebook etc….. have access to your contacts, your calendar, SMS, photos and GPS.” This revelation comes almost to the end. With good reason. If the key question and the key message were to come right at the beginning, the video would be much more boring. A good introduction to a presentation should be the same way.

The third point shows that the more familiar a situation is, the better the analogy works. Because it is usually easy for us to draw conclusions from one familiar situation to another. In this case, the analogy of buying in the real world makes it very clear how differently, or rather absurdly, we behave in the virtual world.

You too can use the described techniques. Why not in your next presentation? Then your kids will understand.

Click here for the video of Stiftung Warentest. The video takes only 2 minutes. Take a look at it. It’s worth it.

Barack Obama

The analogy: a powerful rhetorical device

An analogy is a particularly powerful rhetorical device. It often allows to present an issue much more clearly than if one did it directly. It sometimes takes a little effort to find a good analogy. But those who take the time are at an advantage. Here’s an example.

“Imagine: You go to the doctor, no, better, you go to 100 doctors and 99 of them diagnose “diabetes”. So 99 doctors are telling you that you are diabetic and therefore you should stop eating bacon and donuts. Then what do you say? You say, “It’s a conspiracy! 99 doctors sat down with Obama and want to stop me from eating bacon and donuts!” [Pause] You would never say that! That’s exactly how it is with climate change …”

The words come from the ex-president of the United States, Barack Obama, who in his speech criticized the position of some Republicans on climate change and the Paris treaty. The analogy is convincing and delivered with humor. You have to see and listen to it in the original.

See the video here. (It takes less than 2 minutes).

Or right here:

As always, practice makes perfect. Only if you make the effort to implement the tips, will you have a chance to give a good speech.

If you like the tip, just share it on social media like Facebook, XING and Co.

The British Exit - and the European Future

John Major on The Brexit

John Major on The British Exit – and the European Future; University of Zurich, KOH-B-10, October 17, 2016, 18:40 – 19:26 h. Organised by the Schweizerisches InstitutJohn Major on the Brexit - and the European Future für Auslandforschung SIAF.

It was an honor and a privilege to have the former British prime minister visit the University of Zurich.  It was great to be able to experience the Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH at first hand. The presentation was even more relevant because of the recent vote of the UK to exit the European Union. Therefore it was no wonder that the lecture hall was filled to almost the last seat available, i.e. about 440 attendees.

Former prime minister John Major argued that the exit came as a surprise to many. According to him there were going to be many negative consequences. Subsequently he praised the overall achievements of the European Union, acknowledging some difficulties. In particular the key achievement being peace in Europe after the first and second world war. On the other hand, one of the mistakes the EU in his opinion did, was to let too many countries  adopt the Euro too early. As a result, Sir John argued that the vote in favor of the Brexit had to do with the fact, that many British citizens hadn’t seen a raise in their living standard for the past 10 years.

Now to the topic of this blog: How good a public speaker is John Major?

On the positive side:

  • Use of humor: He opened and ended his speech with a joke. First with a joke about Gorbachev, then with one about Jelzin. John Major also deflected some potentially difficult questions with humor during the Q&A session.
  • Declaring his standpoint: He clearly said what his personal opinion was about the Brexit: He thinks it was a mistake. Comment: This puts things into perspective and let’s the audience understand more easily that he leans to one or the other side of the argument.
  • Relate to the audience: Sir John related to a large part of the audience when he (sarcastically) asked the students in the audience: “Are 65 million British citizens going to get the same deal as 500 million citizens of the EU? Discuss!” He earned a big laugh from that (, assuming that that will not be the case).

Areas for improvement:

  • Voice: John Major’s voice was not constantly audible. His voice tended to soften at the end of sentences to the point that he could no longer be understood. Suggestion: Articulate clearly and loudly until the end of every sentence.
  • One sided: Many arguments were unbalanced. E.g. NATO is good, Russia is bad. (No mention of the promise that NATO gave to Russia: We will not expand NATO if you let us reunite Germany.) Suggestion: When preaching to the converted that works fine, probably less so when speaking to a large number of (most likely) critical university students.


Most noteworthy is Sir John Major’s humor. Unfortunately he could not always be acoustically well understood. In addition, in a school paper (and, in my humble opinion, hopefully by the press) he would have been asked to give a more balanced view.

This was a worthwhile event to go to, if only to experience first hand how a former and current leader speaks.

On a scale of 1 (stay home) to 10 (world champion): 7