Phil Davison, Stark County Treasurer Candidate

This is a classic case of someone being completely overwhelmed by the process of delivering a speech, and a speech for a public office no less.  James Humes would have officially cried if he had listened to this speech.  Phil Davison apparently read Humes’ book with the sole intent of delivering a speech that contradicted everything Humes thought was a good idea.  Davison could not stay still for more than a second, which, under normal circumstances, would be incredible distracting.  He attempts to shout his entire speech at the gathered assembly, with the very real appearance of being on the verge of tears.  He decides to try to go without notes, yet constantly has to maneuver back to the podium to consult them, particularly when attempting to deliver one of his “most favorite quotes in the history of the spoken word” – which he then proceeds to butcher.  He was aggressive and defensive from the outset of his speech (“I will not apologize for my tone tonight”).  He gave the traditional “Good evening and thank you” opener.  People were laughing during what should have been a solemn speech.  His ability to read the audience also receives an F.  The list of things Davison does wrong is nearly endless.  All in all, there is nothing Phil Davison could have done to make this speech any worse.  This is the epitome of poor public speaking.

Dale McOsker

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4 comments so far

  1. pipkin6320 on

    I doubt he has ever even heard of Humes or any scholar that writes on public speaking, for like you said he shows no knowledge in how to deliver a speech. The main thing that troubled or distracted me was his constant moving and the infection of his voice. He seemed to try to hard to have a big range in his tone but then just causing his voice to crack. How embarrassing! Do you think he gives all his speech this way? Can he really believe this is effective? Even before reading Humes I could have noticed what a poor speech delivery he gave. Lauren Pipkin

  2. irene531 on

    When we were asked to write blog posts relating to our experiences with public address, I immediately thought of Phil Davison. I agree that he is the perfect example of what not to do in delivering a speech. According to Hauser, his speech would be no where close to a fitting response as he fails to take his audience and constraints into account. In his speech, he is supposed to convince the audience of his credibility to be elected as treasurer of Stark County. However, instead of delivering the speech in an authoritative and confident manner, he yells his entire speech and seems to be scolding the audience. Talk about the worst failure in vocal variety. In addition, he obviously misjudged his physical constraint. After all, there is something called “indoor voice.” Like Dale mentioned, as if this is not bad enough, he paces back and forth throughout his speech. Because of his shockingly poor delivery, all of his credibility ended there. Even if the content in his speech was monumental, it would not have reached the audience successfully. The failure of Davison’s delivery was so distracting that it made it hard to figure out the point of the speech. This proves the importance of delivery.

    Irene Tsai

  3. Erika Berg on

    The author’s final sentence in this post, “This is the epitome of poor public speaking,” could not be a better statement to describe Phil Davison’s speech. I agree completely that he failed in every aspect of public speaking. What makes it even worse is that he has hardly any of the speech memorized for such a significant occasion in his political career. I’m not sure if anyone is a fan of The Office, but I can’t help to think of the episode of Dwight’s speech for Salesman of the Year. It is the 17th episode in the second season. Here is a link to the video (ignore the text) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kysRQP0ca7s. He attempts to give the speech but fails to recognize how inappropriate his speaking style is for the setting and audience, similar to our friend Davison. As a resident of Stark County, I hope his campaign manager(s) helped him revamp his political career for a more successful future, if any.

  4. ehoward112 on

    One of his main problems, as mentioned by both Dale and Irene, is that this man is far to aggressive. When is that last time that someone screamed, was that a pleasant experience for you? I think not. The use of rhetoric is to use words to get people the feel, think, the way that you want them to. IF you have to scream it at your audience you are doing it wrong. And because he is so aggressive when he trips up it quickly become one of the funniest things that you have ever seen, because he is so intense about everything. Calm Down! I’m sure that he thought his delivery was spot on as he warns you about his tone in the very beginning, and he wants you to believe that he is passionate about running for treasurer, but it comes off all wrong and sloppy for forgetting his favorite quote in the history of the spoken word.


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