Trump needs to sharpen his message and shorten his delivery so people won't walk out of rallies

By Gary Abernathy

Trump’s lack of message discipline will harm his impact

Donald Trump is shown at a rally near Wilmington, Ohio in 2016. The former president held another rally Saturday near Cleveland as he tries to impact the 2022 midterm elections. (Photo by Lora Abernathy)

Former President Donald Trump held a rally near Cleveland on Saturday, and much of it was familiar — the big crowd, the wild adulation, the carnival atmosphere. Also present was one of the most frustrating parts of Trump’s rally presentations — not knowing when to quit.

One of the best-known adages of show business is, “Always leave them wanting more.” Trump too often manages to do the opposite — rambling on until even his most fervent followers grow fatigued.

Various press accounts noted that Trump went on and on for nearly 90 minutes — that’s twice as long as he should — and many people filed out early. Looking at Trump strictly from the point of view of good communications, and putting aside whether he should still be involved at all (I’ve made my position clear), he has work to do.

Trump is beloved by his followers for his off-the-cuff monologues. The fact that he is not teleprompter-bound, like many politicians, is indeed a plus. He can be the most entertaining speaker out there. But as he tries to knock off Republican incumbents who stood up to him as they face reelection in 2022, he needs to make some changes.

His stream-of-consciousness rants too often devolve into incoherent ramblings. If Trump wants his rallies to continue to be big draws, he needs to follow some basic guidelines. One of them would be to hone a nice, tight 45- to 50-minute presentation. Even an hour wouldn’t be a disaster, but that’s stretching it. Ninety minutes is ridiculous, especially with such a meandering presentation.

Trump can still be Trump, without reading prepared remarks. But following some bullet points to stay on message and having a logical presentation that follows a general outline would be good. Embracing just a little discipline and, as noted, leaving the crowd wanting more will make his rallies better experiences and help ensure that people keep coming back.

Do NOT make a show that upsets anybody

From USA Today:

James Corden is responding to backlash surrounding one of his show's popular segments, which has been accused of mocking Asian foods. "The Late Late Show" host confirmed he will be adjusting the "Spill Your Guts" segment— in which celebrities are forced to choose between answering a tough question and eating something "unusual"— following a petition calling to remove the bit... ”The next time we do that bit we absolutely won’t involve or use any of those foods," Corden said while speaking to Howard Stern on June 16. “Our show is a show about joy and light and love – we don’t want to make a show to upset anybody."

Because in this day and age, you cannot make a show that upsets anybody. We are all easily breakable. We repeat: Do not make a show that upsets anybody.

I was watching old Johnny Carson “Tonight Show” highlights recently, one of those YouTube things featuring appearances by Don Rickles, the late “insult king,” and I realized that Rickles could never have a career today. In this day and age of the perpetually offended, Rickles — who offstage was apparently a sweet guy who really didn’t dislike anyone — could never perform an act that often made fun of people — all people — based on everything from their race to their gender to their religion to their height to their hair (or lack of hair).

Why couldn’t Rickles survive? Because we cannot laugh at ourselves anymore. We must — must — be offended. We don’t want to make a show to upset anybody. It’s sad.

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