As the presidential campaigns kick into high gear, we analyzed the highly-researched and meticulously produced Mitt Romney campaign events to see what lessons we can bring to our partners.
Lesson One: Production value – Make it feel important
Mitt Romney’s events are designed, above all, for a video audience, with hundreds of people packed into small factories and auditoriums. Even for outdoor events in the middle of the day, background banners and a pair of 18,000-kilowatt floodlights bath Mr. Romney in a camera-ready glow.
The show almost always starts on time. Holes in the crowd are stamped out like brush fires. Aides ensure no children are perched on parent’s shoulders who could potentially block the camera’s view of Mr. Romney.
Lesson Two: Timing – Keep it short and slow
The typical Romney speech is about 1,900 words and 20 minutes, shorter than a Bill Clinton talk but longer than the Gettysburg Address. At 95 words per minute, this issignificantly slower than our database average of 160 words per minute, allowing ample time for Mr. Romney’s words to set in, for applause, and for audience interactions.
Lesson Three: Concept Highlighting – Clear and concise content focus
The most commonly used word in a Romney speech, after “the” and “Obama,” is undoubtedly “free” or “freedom.” (“It is free men and women that drive our economy,” he says, followed by “freedom is what makes America work.”)
Lesson Four: Proxemics – Position yourself and move with authority
On stage, Mr. Romney stands ramrod straight, chest out, arms fully extended downward at his side, tilting slightly forward — projecting formality and authority.
Mr. Romney gesticulates with his hands often, in a high school teacher style, to count off his major points (such as the 5 points of his economic plan). He also uses his hands for audience engagement – emphasizing a comment shouted from the crowd, offering a thumbs up or a pumped fist.