What lies ahead in 2016 for public speakers

A presidential election year usually means that it’s silly season, but this one tops them all, the author says. In other news, video will become ever more popular as a content format.

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Once a year about this time I get the inescapable urge to predict the year ahead in public speaking.

For the last few years, I haven’t acted on that urge, but this year I’m going to, mostly because the world has become so silly and, well, stupid, that it’s impossible not to comment.

So, here goes—with the caveats that it’s just my opinion and we’re only in mid-January—my take on what the year 2016 will look like. Be warned: This is a bit of a rant. If you don’t like rants, don’t read on.

1. Put on your rhetorical seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride. It’s silly season in the United States—the presidential elections. This time around, the candidates are already throwing in the towel on the truth—facts no longer matter, and we haven’t even had the first primary. The lies that the Republicans are telling about the Democrats are equaled only by the lies the Democrats are telling about the Republicans.

It promises to be the saddest, dumbest, most hate-filled public discourse we’ve ever seen here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave—and that’s saying a lot. All when we need intelligent discussion more than ever.

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