Child crying

Since when did scream talking become the preferred method of giving a speech? I have seen it performed in many venues this year but nowhere more so than among national politicians.

The two most glaring examples are Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. Now they both take very different approaches to scream talking, but the result is the same. Cringing. Holding my ears. Not listening to what they are saying because of HOW they are saying it.

With Giuliani, it is almost scary. He is clearly screaming in your face. That’s right – each and every one of you. And me. And I guess his reasoning is that he wants to make sure we hear him and know how important the message he is delivering.

With Clinton, it is worse. It is a whiny drone at top volume. Her approach seems to also involve the need to make sure we all know how important she is and how her message is the only one that matters. The elongated vowels. The rising tempo and volume. It’s headache producing.

Now these aren’t the only two versions of this as it seems like other speakers are adopting the same approach, much as teenage girls all decided they had to take on the “vocal fry” of a Kardashian. Or how young women of a certain age were all anxious to sound like a Valley Girl.

Don’t these political leaders have minions who tell them to stop scream talking? Are they actually taking lessons in scream talking? Perhaps the worst part is that they didn’t always speak like this. I don’t remember Clinton or Giuliani being particularly loud or screamy in their past lives. I also wonder if they type their emails in all caps.

As someone who has conducted countless spokesperson training sessions, I can assure you I have never advised anyone at anytime for any reason to scream. Or even raise his or her voice. Measured tones go a long way in getting your message across.

This presidential campaign is horrifying on so many levels. If everyone would stop screaming at us to listen, maybe we would better be able to absorb whatever message they are trying to communicate.

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