Selected items from October 2004

• Oct. 1, David Broder expressed the opinion that the structure of the presidential debates placed too many restrictions on the candidates.

• In the “Blondie” panel on the 4th, Blondie told Dagwood she had good news and bad news. He asked for the good news first. She said, “Our airbags work.”

• In Dick Morris’ analysis of the presidential debates on the 4th, he concluded that Sen. John Kerry had won the debate on style but that President George W. Bush had won it on substance.

Local items from October 2004

• In a column on the 4th, Rep. Ike Skelton warned that deficit spending by the U.S. government was detrimental to the youth of the nation.

• On the 20th, former Ambassador Theodore “Ted” L. Eliot spoke at the Science Auditorium at what is now the University of Central Missouri. Eliot had served as an officer in the U.S. Foreign Service for 30 years, including five years in Afghanistan.

• Homecoming recognized the 100th anniversary of Dale Carnegie’s attendance at what is now UCM. His daughter, Donna Dale Carnegie, was the guest of the university from the 27th to the 30th for the festivities.

• At the homecoming game on the 28th, the Mules defeated Washburn by a score of 47-21. Head Coach Willie Fritz said, “Our players played with great effort.”

Personal perspective for October 2004

Most teachers of public speaking did not begin their academic study majoring in communication. Many of them, indeed, had to overcome a high degree of speech anxiety (i.e. stage fright) in earning their degree.

I was a clear exception. I loved speaking in public from an early age. I regretted that I was not good at it and pursued the study with the goal of improving.

My first teacher of speech at the age of 10, through his books, was Dale Carnegie. It was only after I began university courses that I learned that Carnegie was generally not respected in academia. Academia valued the written word. It took outsiders such as Carnegie and Ralph Nichols working mostly with business leaders to demonstrate the uniqueness of oral communication. Carnegie started it with public speaking and Nichols focused on listening.

Copyright 2019 W. Clifton Adams. Additional writing from Adams can be found at

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