Thursday, September 4, 2008

practice with the candidates: video tool

If you're using the political conventions to pick up speaker tips, you can use an interactive tool on the New York Times's website to practice along with the candidates. Shown here in a screen shot, today you can watch video of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, for example, while a transcript of her actual remarks scrolls in time with the video. (And while the candidates and their surrogates are tightly scripted at the conventions, if you only read Palin's prepared remarks, you'd miss one of her best off-the-cuff lines, comparing hockey moms to pit bulls, with lipstick.) You also can click on section headers at right to advance the video and the transcript to a particular section.

This strikes me as a useful training tool: If you liked a particular look, gesture, type of emphasis, or rhetoric--or the combination of all those factors--during a speech, you can replay it and try it out for yourself, with the script running teleprompter-like in front of you. And its accessibility on the web means you can do that kind of practice at home, at the office, in a hotel room or most other locations. Look here for the Sarah Palin speech; here for Hillary Clinton's speech; and here for Michelle Obama's speech in this format. Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts on this as a practice tool!

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