A couple of hundred people, 100 each from the Weekly Standard‘s May 2-4 policy conference and the Colorado Front Range, had signed up for a half-day interactive training session on May 3 called Conservative Persuason Bootcamp, jointly hosted by Centennial Institute and the magazine.
But when the day came, bootcamp organizers John Andrews, Krista Kafer, Melanie Sturm, and Rich Sokol were surprised to have more than 300 show up at the Colorado Springs event.
The learning objective for the Colorado Springs event was: “To equip each trainee, by active participation,with knowledge, skills, and attitudes for winsomely vindicating with our fellow citizens America’s founding principles.”
Bill Kristol, editor of the Standard, and Stephen F. Hayes, one of its writers, both of whom are frequently seen on Fox News, were interviewed by Andrews and Kafer during the first part of the program about how to persuade (see photo below).
In the second part of the program, Centennial Institute facilitators led role-playing discussions at each table so trainees could practice making their case both intellectually and emotionally. They were given imaginary skeptical questions and a briefing packet with backgrounders on several major issues, linked here: Bootcamp Issue Packet 050313.pdf (689.86 kb)
Participants’ feedback forms rated the bootcamp as “very good” or “good” by 79%. Centennial Institute is preparing to offer two more rounds of Conservative Persuasion Bootcamp this summer, July 28 in Denver and August 16 in Aspen.