Monday, December 12, 2011

David Gergen Review

Our second engagement of the season also proved to be very successful. As is to be expected with a political speaker, some of our patron feedback displayed discontent with Gergen and his viewpoints. However, most of our patrons who didn’t necessarily agree with his political stance on certain issues nevertheless enjoyed him as a very engaging speaker.

I think his opening anecdote about the talking frog was the perfect way to start off his speech. Although I’m sure I could be swayed by the promise of a handsome prince, it’s important that we learn to look at things from different perspectives. An extended cheesy metaphor of Mr. Gergen’s point – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure kind of feeling. The same goes for politics – what one person thinks to be the cat’s pajamas, another thinks to be hell on earth. It’s important that we realize that there are all kinds of opinions; it just depends on someone’s perspective. And judging by our patron feedback, most people appreciated Mr. Gergen’s presentation, even if they might not align with his political philosophies.

I especially appreciated that his speech ended on a positive note: although the outlook in the near future might be grim, he’s confident that America will bounce back. A little optimism is good for all of us.

And as with Mr. McCullough, Mr. Gergen was an absolute delight to work with. And he taught us that George Clooney is apparently never to be trusted. I’d say we’re two for two now.

The following illustrates how patrons felt about the David Gergen engagement:


Lecture: 4.5
Q&A: 4.1
Moderator: 4.1
Lighting: 4.3
Acoustics: 4.3
Overall: 4.3

94% of audience polled felt the engagement was "money well spent".

89% of audience polled felt the night met their expectations.

Comments from our patrons:

“Mr. Gergen represents the best of the political class of commentator – intellectually curious, philosophically fair, realistic about our problems but steadfastly optimistic about the future.”

“Outstanding! One of the best speakers ever. I loved that Mr. Gergen actually gave opinions and assessments of people instead of waltzing around in the politically correct way. His comments gave me a lot to think about.”

“Have appreciated and respected David's balanced approach to his political commentary for years, and thoroughly appreciated his thoughtful, serious societal/economic/political/historical insights, leavened with his delightful wit.”