Jerry Seinfeld was on David Letterman and explained a trick they used with inexperienced actors. They would put something in his hands. He showed some clips from his show where he carried on a conversation while holding a cereal bowl or something.
If only Marco Rubio had known this. In the course of his speech he could have picked up his water bottle, talked for a minute, casually taking a drink. Then talk some more. Maybe wave it around a little---gesticulate with it. It would have made him less nervous.
They should have at least left the cap on the water bottle. Let him casually unscrew it while he continued speaking. Instead of wondering what he was doing taking a drink in the middle of the speech, let the viewers wonder when he's going to take a drink out of that thing.
That water bottle should have been his salvation, not his humiliation.
Where the hell was he, anyway? Was that a real background or something they made up to make him look presidential?
He should have done the thing Nixon did in the Checkers speech----start out behind the desk, then get up and step out in front of it. Maybe sit on the edge of the desk.
Maybe start with him at the desk reading his speech, then he'd put his papers down, stand up and start reading the teleprompter. Create the harmless illusion that he was now speaking extemporaneously.
Maybe start with him playing with a puppy. He looks up, notices he's on TV. He stands up and begins his speech while the puppy runs off camera.
How about driving? He could drive along in the car speaking to the camera pointing at him from the passenger seat. Then, at the end of the speech, he would stop the car and say, "We're here!"