Media Hits

Sheehan Associates has been featured in numerous publications and news outlets including C-SPAN, ABC, New York Magazine, and more.

Media Hits

Sheehan Associates has been featured in numerous publications and news outlets including C-SPAN, ABC, New York Magazine, and more.

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New York Magazine
"The "Sheehan effect" refers to Michael Sheehan, the media-training guru who has served as the speech coach at every Democratic convention since 1988, laboring in a windowless room beneath the stage to tune up speakers before their podium turns, and has worked on countless campaigns. Among Sheehan's most prominent clients have been Bill and Hillary Clinton, and also the current president -- whom Sheehan prepped for his star-making 2004 convention keynote and last year's nomination acceptance as well as his televised debates with John McCain. Sheehan's reputation is so stellar that even his competitors can't help but sing his praises."
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Fast Company: The Man Behind the Curtain
"You may not know his face, but you most certainly know his words,
expressions, and intonations. In more than two decades of work, Sheehan has become one of the world's top communications specialists, the go-to guy for anyone trying to make a point in public...
...Sheehan helps CEOs of America's most influential companies deal with everything from hostile reporters to skeptical analysts."
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In An Uncertain World
A book by Robert Rubin
"…I needed some help in dealing with the very particular medium of television… I decided to act… I made an appointment to see Michael Sheehan, a media coach who worked with President Clinton, among others.

"I was skeptical about going to see Sheehan, because I knew I couldn't be anything other than myself, on television or anyplace else. I told Sheehan that, and he responded that I should indeed be myself but that I should also try to understand a few basic points about the medium and how it works. For instance, you can attack a question, but you should never attack a questioner, since TV tends to make a personal challenge look more hostile than intended. You should boil down your points and avoid long, discursive answers. You had to be somewhat more animated than in normal conversation just to seem natural, because TV tends to deenergize you. And most important, you have to go in with a clear sense of what you want to accomplish and respond from that perspective.

"…Sheehan was absolutely right…"
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Believer: My Forty Years in Politics
A book by David Axelrod
"...Later that day, he began rehearsing his keynote with an expert speech coach, Michael Sheehan. Michael had studied as an actor to overcome a childhood stutter and transformed himself into one of the foremost media trainers in America. He was a fixture at Democratic conventions, setting up training booths beneath the rostrum where all the major speakers would prepare. I had known Michael for years and privately had confided Obama's habit of over-orating. 'First lesson: Let the microphone do the work,' he told Barack. 'You don't have to shout. You'll be heard in the hall. But you're really speaking to twenty million people at home. Have a conversation with them.'

With each repetition of the speech, Barack became more relaxed and conversational, adding pauses, nuanced phrasing, and natural gestures to accent his points. Soon his performance rivaled the quality of the words on the page. 'This is really, really good,' Gibbs whispered to me between takes. 'He's definitely got it.'"
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Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign
A book by Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes
"The day of the address, she set up two sessions with Michael Sheehan, a veteran speech coach, in a conference room... Hillary was comfortable with the text, but Sheehan gave her a handful of pointers on pacing and tone. He showed her the best way to emphasize certain words, especially those that might be punchier than they seemed on paper. He instructed her on how close to stand to the podium so she could put her hands on it and use it but also give herself a free range of movement for gestures. One person in the room noticed a change in how easily Hillary could be coached around Sheehan. He had a way of connecting with her that many others did not. She could often be dismissive of suggestions when she was sensitive to criticism. But now she had the confidence to take in what Sheehan was saying. Rather than her standard yeah-I-got-it response to instruction, she was asking Sheehan to give her more. And her delivery was a full dress rehearsal. She really brought it, the aide said."
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Game Change
A book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
"In the past, Axelrod had run Obama’s debate prep, and it had been, like the strategist himself, disorganized and loose-limbed. For his debates with McCain, Obama had given authority to veteran Democratic strategists Tom Donilon and Ron Klain and forensics specialist Michael Sheehan, who put him through his paces with repeated dress rehearsals, DVDs of himself to study, and meticulous briefing books.

But Biden worked diligently with Michael Sheehan, who trained him using what Sheehan – with due generational aptness – dubbed an “Arthur Murray pattern.” Describe the situation; explain how it will be worse under McCain; describe how it’ll be better under us. One-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three. Biden quickly got the hang of it."
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Living History
A book by Hillary Rodham Clinton
"I seized upon the village theme, and we swiftly drafted the speech around it. Then I went to the tiny room in the basement of the United Center for one last rehearsal with Michael Sheehan, an extraordinary media coach who made Herculean efforts to teach me to use the TelePrompTer, which I had never worked with before and couldn't seem to master. Though I might finally have found the words I'd been searching for, I'd blow the speech if I delivered them looking like a robot, so I practiced until it felt right."
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American Son
A book by Richard Blow, former editor of George magazine
John was anxious about this press conference; he'd never done anything like it. Up to that point, almost certainly the largest assemblage of reporters he'd ever had to address had come the morning after his mother's death, and no one would have thought of asking him a tough question that day. Now there was no reason for the press to hold back. Here was an opportunity hundreds of reporters had been waiting for—the chance to ask John F. Kennedy, Jr., questions about his personal life. Our nightmare scenario was that no one would ask a single question about George.

To prepare, John had gotten coaching from image consultant Michael Sheehan, who had worked with Bill Clinton, and Paul Begala, a Clinton spin doctor who'd also advised John's uncle Ted. Sheehan and Begala had spent hours drilling John on potentially embarrassing questions. "Why did you fail the bar exam—are you stupid, or just lazy" "Is it true about you and Sharon Stone" "Who's your new girlfriend, anyway" "Madonna has an article in your first issue—did you have to sleep with her to get her to write it"

"Together they cooked up some answers…."
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Financial Times
"But this spring I knew that I would be on a lot of TV shows and that some of them might be adversarial. I had to master my fear, so I had booked a veteran Washington media coach, Michael Sheehan ... After we’d done a few hours of Q&A — on the playback my "A’s" were as rambling and boring as I’d feared — Sheehan asked me if I liked tennis. I don’t just like tennis. I love it. I have played competitively all my life. "You are always serving," he told me. "Whatever they ask you — you are serving." ... Weeks later, I did the same thing on air with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. "I see your media training paid off," observed my other half."
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