How To Talk Like Donald Trump
This week I saw a bunch of clips of Donald Trump talking. I wasn’t trying to see them, but they were unavoidable. I was in an environment with lots of televisions, and all of them were in various stages of Donald Trump. I had to admit, Trump could work a crowd. Even though I’m a quiet guy, I almost admire his brash performances, and I wondered if I could use a little of that bravado in my own life.
This doesn’t mean I’ll vote for Donald Trump. I rarely tell people whom I’ll vote for. I understand why people like him, and I understand why people hate him too. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not wishy-washy about Donald Trump. I couldn’t talk like Donald Trump if I were wishy-washy. I have strong feelings about him, but this isn’t that kind of blog.
At first, I thought speaking like Donald Trump would be difficult because I’m a quiet guy, and I usually speak in a deliberate way. If anything, I speak like President Obama, with lots of “Uuuuhhs” and “Uuummms.” I’ve never said “Let me be clear” or “Let me be frank,” but I say stuff like “Does that make sense to you?” Nobody has ever compared me to President Obama, and I’m pretty sure I’m unelectable.
My first rule is to never speak like Donald Trump to my wife. If I did, she’d probably divorce me, and she’d have grounds. Any judge would decide that “speaking like Donald Trump” is worse than any irreconcilable difference, and I’d lose everything, including visitation rights.
I decided to try a bit of Donald Trump at a morning meeting at work. I was the oldest one there, but I was also the quietest. I probably should speak more in meetings, but I prefer one-on-one conversations where I can gauge reactions better. When there’s a bunch of people, my mind can’t process as quickly because I see everything else around me. If a guy is picking his nose while I’m talking, all I see is the guy picking his nose, and it scrambles my thoughts.
Eight of us sat at a long rectangular table in a bare room with no windows. The boss at the head of the table was a woman in her early 30’s. A millenial from a prestigious university sat to my right, and a millenial from another prestigious university sat across from me. There were a few other people there, but none of them mattered, as far as this conversation was concerned. I would never say/think that somebody didn’t matter. Everybody matters (and I don’t mean that in a political way that could offend certain demographic groups).
Anyway, the meeting was going nowhere. Our department had to make a presentation, and nobody agreed on anything. The two millenials were having a repetitive disagreement, each one repeating “What I’m saying is that….” And “What I mean is that…” I despise repetitive arguments in meetings. I’ve wasted months of my life listening to repetitive arguments during meetings.
This was the time to speak up. It was time for Donald Trump to intervene.
“Both of you are awesome (that was a lie),” I said, patting the millenial next to me on his shoulder.
(Just so you know, if it’s in parenthesis, I didn’t really say it.)
I continued. “You guys are actually trying to figure this out instead of staring at your phones (I would have preferred them staring at their phones). That’s great (it was annoying because they didn’t know what they were talking about).”
Everybody stared at me. One woman was actually open-mouthed.
“I’ve been here a long time. I’ve been here through five company presidents and 17 bosses.” I nodded to my current boss. “You’re the best boss I’ve had (the jury is still out on that). You’re great (she’s okay). You’ll actually listen to what we say (I wasn’t so sure at the time). That’s why I’ll tell you what we should do.”
I can’t tell you what my plan was, so I guess that makes me like Donald Trump too. If my bosses found out I had a blog, I could get fired, so I have to be careful about what I write. At any rate, I explained what to do, and my boss liked it. I’m not a genius. I just have enough experience to know what has worked and what hasn’t worked, and I combined the what has worked but has been forgotten and I dropped all the stuff that hasn’t worked but people still keep trying. If that doesn’t make sense when you’re reading it, it makes sense in my brain.
When I was done explaining, there was a moment of silence.
“We have to deal with the _______ department,” the millenial coworker next to me said, now staring at his phone.
“Those guys love me (they barely know me),” I said. “We get along great (true, but that was because we hardly ever talked). I can have them give us their report just like that (maybe, but I wasn’t sure). It will be so fast, it’ll make your head swim.”
“Spin,” the millenial said.
“What?” I said.
“It’s ‘spin, it’ll make your head spin,’” he said, still staring at his phone.
“I’m doing your work for you,” I said. “If the guy doing your work for you says it’s ‘make your head swim,’ then it’s ‘make your head swim.’”
Then I paused. “And get off your phone. It’s rude.”
The millenial shrugged and put his phone down.
“Ron always does the presentations,” my boss said.
“Ron is great, but he’s not here,” I said. “I don’t think he needs to feel rushed right before the big show.” Looking back, I probably should have pushed the presentation on Ron because he doesn’t mind doing it, but he reads from the powerpoints, and I can’t stand that.
“You’ll do the presentation?” my boss said.
I knew what everybody was thinking. The dry heave. Everybody had heard about the dry heave. 15 years ago, I’d had to speak in front of a large group, and I dry heaved right before it. Luckily, only a few people saw it, and I gave a decent presentation, but I still had a reputation after that. I was good for research, organizing, and proofreading, but keep me away from a crowd.
“I didn’t dry heave (that was a lie),” I announced to the group. “I had a stomach virus that day (also a lie). And I kept everything down (that was because I’d been so nervous that I hadn’t eaten anything for 12 hours before). And I still nailed the presentation (it was okay). The guy who spread the dry heave rumor got let go a year later (true but irrelevent), and I’m still here. Do you think I’d still be here if I dry heaved?”
The answer was yes, because I had actually dry heaved, but there was no video footage of the event, and all the witnesses had moved on. As far as I’m concerned, if there’s no video, then it didn’t really happen.
As I walked out of the conference room, I said to my boss, “We need a helicopter.”
I said “we” because I’m not the owner, and even though I was talking like Donald Trump, I couldn’t be exactly like Donald Trump. I know I can’t have my own helicopter. But the company should have one.
“Why?” she asked.
“Traffic is horrible,” I said. “It would be easier to get to all the good restaurants with a helicopter.”
“You eat lunch in your office,” she said. Technically, we weren’t supposed to do that, but I never left crumbs, so the powers-that-be leave me alone about it.
“If we had a helicopter, I wouldn’t have to eat lunch in my office,” I said.
“You’re crazy,” my boss said. It’s probably not good for my boss to think I’m crazy, so I let the conversation end there.
So now I have a presentation on Monday. I can do it, but it’s been a long time, and there’s a lot on the line. My boss and several of her bosses will be watching. Donald Trump doesn’t have bosses, so speaking like him might not help. The last time I did a presentation, the powers-that-be decided not to have me do presentations anymore. After all, I had dry heaved. A lot of decisions (including my job security) will be made because of my presentaion. It’s a lot of pressure. It’s been a while since I’ve had to handle a lot of pressure.
I think I’ll call in sick.
If you like how Donald Trump talks, you’ll love my ex-girlfriend, and you can meet her in my ebook …