Letter to Donald Trump

Dear Mister President,

In the newspapers I read that your Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Wilbur Ross, had fallen asleep during your speech in Jerusalem. No need to tell me how terribly unpleasant it can be for a speaker to see his audience drifting away. Unfortunately, the media will be all over this event in an attempt to spread fake news about you, which I find preposterous.

Because you are arriving in my home country Belgium today, where you will be delivering several more speeches, I am writing you this letter. I would like to help you out, you see. As a presentation trainer, I have already helped many scientific researchers brush up their talks and make them more appealing to a broader audience.

And dear Mister President, in no way would I want to offend you by comparing you to a scientist. But I do believe that, just like any scientist, you too need to communicate complex truths to people.

Please rest assured that you are not the only head of State who has had a person in their audience doze off. Your critics will smugly note that this never happened to former president Barack Obama. Well, they are wrong. During one of his speeches in Dallas in 2016, a female police officer sank into a deep sleep. Just to show you that this can even happen to a born speaker, such as your predecessor.

Can you do anything about it, then? Why, yes! Just a couple of small tweaks could already make a big difference and have your audience hanging on to your every word.

So this is my offer to you: If you would happen to find an hour or so available within your busy schedule today or tomorrow, I would gladly come over to you. I do not have very much time, because I am writing a book with presentation tips that should have long ended up at the publisher’s. But seeing how vital it is that your visit to Belgium goes well and realizing the gravity of the situation, I will shuffle things around for you. And of course, no need for financial compensation.

If you would be unable to see me, I could just as well pass the tips on to your wife, Mrs. Melania Trump. According to official sources, she sometimes wishes to pass up on attending the at times lengthy affairs of State with you.

Dear Mister Trump, please excuse me for what has become a long-spun letter, as I frankly wasn’t able to find the time to write a shorter one. I just realized that these are in fact the words of French mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal, which he wrote in a letter addressed to the French king. For clarity’s sake, Blaise Pascal is not a fellow scientist, as he is long deceased (1662).

I would like to wish you and your wife a most wonderful stay in Belgium, and I am convinced that you will enjoy our small country in more ways than you had expected.


Hans Van de Water

(Foto: ‘Donald Trump’ door Gage Skidmore)