Christian Lundberg

Director, Vocable Communications

Ph.D., Communication, Northwestern University
Communication Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill

Christian Lundberg is a professor, communication strategist, and  presentation skills coach. He holds a professorship in public speaking, debate and critical thinking in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has served as a consultant for a number of US Senate campaigns, gubernatorial campaigns, and as a debate consultant to Vote Leave in Britain’s EU Referendum through O’Donnell and Associates. He has done in-house presentation training for venture capital firms with a billion dollars of assets under management, and has helped design assessment and training programs for Fortune 50 companies as a communication SME through BTS. His other presentation training clients include high-visibility non-profits and clients in state and local government.

He received his Ph.D. in rhetoric from Northwestern University’s School of Communication in 2006, and his Master of Divinity from Emory University in 2000. His academic work focuses on rhetoric, debate, public persuasion, and analyzing public and political speech. He has written numerous books and award-winning articles on rhetoric, speech, and persuasion, including: The Essential Guide to Rhetoric (Bedford St. Martin’s, 2008, 2e 2017) ; Public Speaking: Choices and Responsibility (Cengage Publishers, 2014, 2e 2016, 3e forthcoming); and a book about the psychology of public persuasion called Lacan in Public: Psychoanalysis and the Science of Rhetoric (University of Alabama Press, 2012).

In addition to his experience in the classroom and with consulting clients, he has over fifteen years of experience in speech and debate coaching, serving most recently as a coach and argument consultant for Harvard University. He has coached national championship intercollegiate debate teams at four separate universities (Liberty University, Emory University, Northwestern University, and Harvard University), and has coached multiple competitors to the top individual speaker award at the National Debate Tournament.

Publications and Media


The Essential Guide to Rhetoric (Bedford St. Martin’s)

Public Speaking: Choices and Responsibility (Cengage)

Public Speaking and Civic Engagement (Cengage)

Lacan in Public: Psychoanalysis and the Science of Rhetoric (University of Alabama Press)

Online Articles

Trump’s Inaugural Speech: is it Morning or Mourning in America (

In Victory Speech Donald Trump Discovers the Power of “We” (


Trump’s Rhetoric has Suddenly Flipped from Me-Me-Me to We-We-We (

TED Evangelism Harkens Back to a Forgotten 19th Century Tradition (Religion Dispatches)

Is Toning Down the Rhetoric All Talk? (NPR)

Sample Academic Journals

Letting Rhetoric Be: On Rhetoric and Rhetoricity (Philosophy and Rhetoric)

On Being Bound to Equivalential Chains (Cultural Studies)

Revisiting the Future of Meaning (Quarterly Journal of Speech)

Creating a History for Public Speaking Instruction (Rhetoric and Public Affairs)

A Rhetoric of Style (Quarterly Journal of Speech)

Dueling Fundamentalisms (Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies)

The Allred Initiative and Debate Across the Curriculum: Reinventing the Tradition of Debate at North Carolina.