Fascinating Video: Bill Clinton Preparing for a 1993 Address to the Nation

The moments before a speech or presentation can be stressful. But what is it like moments before addressing hundreds of millions of people on television? I just discovered this fascinating video clip that provides some answers.

The video captures the final minutes before President Bill Clinton’s address to the nation in 1993. The person who posted it on YouTube claims that he had a ten-foot satellite dish and the best descrambler at the time. With this equipment, he was apparently able to hack into the feed from the Oval Office just minutes before Clinton spoke live to the nation. It is very interesting to watch.

In the clip, we see a somewhat annoyed Clinton looking over his script, checking the microphone, asking questions about the teleprompter and cameras, and putting up with a determined make-up girl. With everything at stake, it’s understandable that even a seasoned speaker like Clinton would be stressed. (I particularly enjoyed George Stephanopolous leaning into the shot at 1:43. An unintended precursor to photobombing?)

So yes, even presidents and other dignitaries have to rehearse, check their appearance, and make sure all of the technical logistics are working before they speak. We are all in the same boat.


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
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4 Responses to Fascinating Video: Bill Clinton Preparing for a 1993 Address to the Nation

  1. Wonderful insight into what really happens minutes before a major announcement. Thanks for this!

  2. Rashid says:

    Very interesting indeed! Thanks for sharing.

    I know that a good meditative and focused pre-speech routine can be very beneficial. Don’t really see one here. Guess we should be grateful for the luxuries that we sometimes have. Makes me now wonder about other presidents: do they have pre-speech routines?

    Thanks again for sharing

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks, Rashid. I guess when you are the President of the United States, you are going to be surrounded by people whenever you have a speech of this nature. I am sure that every President has had his own pre-speech routines. If I come across any, perhaps I’ll write about it in a future post.

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