Executive Speaking Weblog

Communication – the future of business

Why people listen when Donald Trump speaks

Posted by Presentation Skills on January 8, 2008

It has been reported that Donald Trump earns about US$1.5m for a 1 hour keynote speech.  This would be in addition to any product sales that he has at the back of the room.  He will sell books, CDs, DVD and anything else he can get his face on.

But other than being pretty rich, why do people listen to him?  After all there are lots of other people out there that are just as rich (or richer) than he, but yet they don’t have the same cult following.  Why is this?

Have a look at this 2 minute video of him speaking and you’ll see why.

Why is he so good?

  1. He uses stories.  In this brief video he uses 3 stories
    1. What he learned at Warton
    2. His friend who bought a house
    3. The reporter at the back of the room.

Stories bring people into his message.  When people hear stories they connect with you as a speaker.  This is what speakers should be aiming for.

2.  Has a point to what he says.  Therefore, he has a reason for speaking.  If someone speaks for any period of time (even if it’s just a minute) and there is no point to what is said, there is no need to speak!


But is there anywhere that he can improve?  Well have another listen and see how often he cuts himself off mid sentence and fails to finish his point. On 4 occasions he interrupts himself to make a side comment or a general comment on what he is saying.  Only on 2 of these occasions does he actually go back and complete the thoughts that he interrupted.  The result is that he does not get his message across as clearly as he could. This can be frustrating for the listener.

“So what?”  I hear you ask.  “The guy gets paid $1.5m per hour.  He can do as he wants!”  Maybe so, but if I were paying that sort of money I would want all I can get.  But my real reason for bring it up is for the rest of us mortals who do not get that much but still speak to audiences.  Do you finish every thought and point that you start?  If you don’t, are you delivering your message as well as you could?  If you are not, are you getting the best out of your own time as well as your audiences time?

‘Til next time.


Darren Fleming

Australia’s Public Speaking Coach


5 Responses to “Why people listen when Donald Trump speaks”

  1. Interesting video. You may have seen on my site or at http://corporatepresenter.blogspot.com the two “C” words. Connection and Content.

    Totally agree with you about telling stories. The best speakers, politicians and salesmen use them.

  2. Maartje said

    Hello Darren, not really a response to your article here, but I wanted to thank you for your comment on my post. Means a lot to me.

    Great blog, by the way :).



  3. Motivational speakers such as Donald Trump (whom we represent) are extremely knowledgable and they can connect with people because they make complex issues seem simple. Converting knowledge into stories is the role of the traditional ‘wise man’ and that is the role people like Donald Trump take.

    All the best


  4. jeepe said

    Can I please get some Motivational notes about business bt need them as voice notes not words !!!! Soon soon
    My email is

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