The Hillary Clinton MasterClass offers a unique opportunity to learn about resilience from a woman who has prevailed in the face of relentless pressure and criticism.
You’ll hear about the experiences and people that inspired Clinton. That helped her shape her values and develop the qualities she needed to fight for what she feels passionate about.
More importantly, you’ll learn how you can bring all this to bear on your own personal and professional life.
But how good a teacher is Hillary Clinton? What will you actually know and be able to do after her class that you couldn’t do at the start? Is the Hillary Clinton MasterClass worth it?
I’ve completed the class in full and will be answering all these questions and more in this balanced Hillary Clinton MasterClass Review.
It’s lengthy, but if you’re just interested in the highlights, this outline's for you:
You will learn how to:
- Think about and identify your core values – what you’re prepared to work for and defend
- Build the confidence to stay true to those values so you can withstand pressure
- Make the most of your time and your ability to share your message
- Connect back to your core values when negotiating, compromising and handling criticism
- Leave a mark on the world you can be proud of
- An unrivalled opportunity to learn about resilience from a former First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State and Presidential candidate
- Carefully structured to promote learning
- Supported throughout by great examples, graphics and footage
- Not for everyone
Length of course: 3 hours and 23 minutes divided into 16 video lessons
Best for: Anyone wanting to cope more effectively with life’s inevitable pressures and setbacks. Also anyone who is open minded, intellectually curious or admires Hillary Clinton.
Overall: Failure and disappointment are inevitable in life. This class is a unique opportunity to learn how to handle those setbacks and bounce back. It’s carefully structured and supported with relatable stories and examples that provide many lessons in resilience that you can apply to your own personal and professional life.
In this balanced overview, I’ll be taking you right inside the Hillary Clinton MasterClass so you get a clear idea of what to expect. I’ll also suggest other MasterClasses that would complement it as well as alternatives from other platforms.
So, let’s get started.
About Hillary Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton needs little introduction from me.
But I will just list a few key experiences as they relate to her determination to persevere in the face of relentless opposition:
- As First Lady, Clinton endured intense scrutiny. Partly because her professional success was unequaled by any previous Whitehouse hostess, and partly due to her public commitment to health reform. Despite this, Clinton won many accolades and admirers around the world.
- Just a year after the trauma of supporting her husband through the Lewinsky scandal, she became the first First Lady to win elective office as a US Senator. In this role she proved, in the face of constant criticism, that a role in public policy making could be combined with that of president’s wife
- In 2016, after a bruising election campaign, Clinton was defeated in her bid for the presidency. Nevertheless, she still works tirelessly to ensure that being the first female presidential candidate will continue to inspire other women in the future.
Whatever you think of Hillary Rodham Clinton, I think it’s fair to say she knows a thing or two about resilience.
If you haven’t seen the trailer for this MasterClass yet, you can check it out here:
MasterClass launched in 2015 with a simple idea: Everyone should have access to genius.
The online education platform provides over 150 inspirational MasterClasses taught by those who’ve garnered global recognition in their fields.
Famed for its outstanding production values, MasterClass is also rigorous when it comes to quality of content and learning materials. This combination provides a unique and compelling learning experience.
Having taken more than twenty five MasterClasses myself, I can report that many are fantastic and insightful. However, some are definitely better than others. And it’s important to do your research first to make sure the course you’re thinking about is the right one for you.
Inside Hillary Clinton's MasterClass
There are 16 video lessons in Hillary Clinton’s MasterClass. Each ranging from around 10 to 20 minutes in length. In total the class is 3 hours and 23 minutes long.
You will also receive an accompanying 46 page workbook with challenges, assignments, and supporting information to help guide you through the class.
The lessons take you on a journey through Hillary Clinton’s life and career in order to understand the tenets she’s developed to guide her on a path of principle and purpose.
And, of course, to help you see how you can apply these to your own experience.
For this review I’ve grouped the lessons in terms of their general themes. This way you can break down the course into five sections:
- Establishing a framework
- Delivering the message
- Negotiation and compromise
- Overcoming obstacles
- Resilience in action
What follows is a play-by-play breakdown of each section so you can decide whether or not this MasterClass is something you might be interested in.
Section 1/5: Establishing a framework
Lessons 1-2 Meet your instructor & Discovering your mission
“I wanted to teach this MasterClass with the hope that .. you will find new ways to be both resilient, but also kind and brave, and supportive to those around you.”
Hillary Clinton begins by sharing why she feels so privileged to be giving this MasterClass and what she hopes you’ll gain from it.
She hopes you will learn to :
- Build the confidence you need to pursue your passions and dreams
- Trust yourself and your choices
- Stay true to the values that give meaning to your life so you can withstand pressures
- Leave a mark on the world you can be proud of
She goes on to share her formative experiences and explains in overview how these, and key people in her life, have set her on her current path.
In these lessons you will discover how to:
- Think about and identify your own values – what you’re prepared to work for, stand up for and defend
- Create a values driven mission statement
- Figure out how to create a life that actively pursues that mission
Lessons 3-4 Hillary’s framework for hard work & Organizing a busy life
“My ability to stay resilient is directly related to my ability to stay organized and focussed on what's important”
Hillary has decades of experience of coping with grueling schedules. In these two lessons she shares, with concrete examples, how she has learned to:
- Work hard, but smart
- Value her time as a precious asset
- Continuously connect back to her values and mission in order to persevere in difficult times
- And simplify her life by prioritizing efficiently
Using the organizational binder she deployed during the presidential election campaign, Hillary walks you through a hectic day to show you how such a simple tool can aid success, whatever your circumstances.
These introductory lessons are a great way to frame the course. Because in the following lessons, Hillary demonstrates how staying organized has helped her in public speaking, navigating setbacks, and negotiating and finding compromise.
Section 2/5: Delivering the message
Lessons 5-6: Preparing for public speaking & Studying persuasive speakers
Hillary opens this section by revealing that research shows that one of the greatest fears people have is of speaking in public.
Yet there are few skills less important to us as humans than to be able to communicate and persuade.
In this lesson Hillary breaks down two of her speeches. One of the first she ever made and one of the most important. By doing this she helps us understand:
- Her approach to speaking publicly
- Techniques for crafting an organized and effective speech
- How to settle and communicate with an audience who both support and oppose your aims
- Ways to finish up so that your words make a difference
- And tips and tricks for practicing
This lesson was well constructed with ideas being introduced and then demonstrated using techniques like annotated footage, followed by summaries of key points. I learned a lot from it.
In the following lesson Hillary discusses the importance of persuasion in every area of life. And she shares her conviction that learning to be persuasive will help each of us, whatever we decide to do.
Hillary walks us through techniques used by speakers that have inspired her during her career. Focussing on finer details such as rhythm, cadence, tone, personal connection and storytelling.
Her choices include:
- Martin Luther King
- Barbara Jordan
- President Obama
- And her husband, President Clinton
She ends with practical advice on how you can incorporate the best techniques of speakers you admire, yet still deliver a speech that is authentically your own.
Maximizing your strengths and learning to pivot
In the last lesson in this section, Hillary focuses on embracing constructive criticism and using it to become an even better communicator.
She deploys two examples here to explain what she means.
The first is that of Margaret Thatcher, the sublimely confident British Prime Minister who actively sought help to improve her speech and delivery to great effect.
Hillary points up that a trusted critic will make you aware not only of your weaknesses, but your strengths. Working on both will help you stand your ground in any eventuality. To demonstrate this Hillary uses a second example; how she dealt with Trump’s intimidatory tactics during the election debates.
The section ends with solid practical advice to help you get more comfortable with public speaking.
Section 3/5: Negotiation and compromise
Lessons 8-9: The fundamentals of negotiation & Navigating compromise and trade offs
As a former Secretary of State, Hillary is no stranger to high stakes negotiations. In this section she shares the key principles and techniques she deploys to help her prepare, focus and succeed.
- Setting tiered objectives
- Respecting the other party and their goals
- Not seeing negotiations as a zero sum game
- Knowing when good enough is good enough
- Grounding decisions about which battles to fight, and which ones to concede, in your core values and mission
Of course, few of us will ever get involved in globally significant, international negotiations. But as Hillary points out, humans are by nature in constant negotiation with each other. So improving this skill is something that benefits us all.
Having set out her negotiation fundamentals Hillary uses several lived examples to demonstrate them in action. And as in other lessons, key takeaways are highlighted at the lesson close.
Section 4/5: Overcoming adversity
Lessons 10-11: Taking criticism seriously, not personally & Ambition, sexism and the double bind
“I've been criticized for my looks, my voice, my ambition. I've been viciously mocked and called terrible names. But I've been able to filter outside voices by not taking it all personally.”
We all face criticism in our lives. And whilst few of us will never have to deal with it on this scale, we can all benefit from learning how to deal with it in a constructive way.
To take it seriously, but not personally.
In these lessons Hillary shares how she has learned to navigate criticism. You’ll learn how you can:
- Develop enough confidence to hear what’s being said
- Evaluate the motives of your critics
- Use your core values to weigh up what to ignore and what to take on board
- Not give in to popular opinion
- Develop strategies to navigate gender based stereotypes and expectations
I appreciated Hillary opening up to us and conveying just how chilling and frightening some of the vitriol directed at her has been.
It definitely encouraged me to think that if her techniques can help her prevail, then I can surely benefit from them.
Lessons 12-13: Overcoming setbacks & Daring to complete
“Failure is part of the fabric of ambition and effort and therefore it has to be factored in to your resilience”
As the main part of the MasterClass draws to a close, Hillary shares how she has dealt with mistakes and failures and provides practical advice on how we can pick ourselves back up after being knocked down.
Using the example of the 1993 failure to reform Health Care Hillary explains how she keyed back into her core values to rethink her strategy and salvage what she could. The result was the Children’s Health Insurance Program. She advises us to own failure, be honest about what happened and find an alternative path to meeting your goals.
She then moves on to encourage us to dare to compete. Providing advice and strategies to work past our fears and insecurities to give it a try. And above all trust what the people who ask you to do something see in you. As she did when Obama asked her to be his Secretary of State.
Section 5/5: Resilience in action
Chapters 14-16: Huma Abaden, The would be victory speech & Choosing a life of resilience
In the final section of her MasterClass Hillary and her chief of staff, Huma Abedin discuss cultivating a collaborative culture and resilience in the workplace.
She follows this by reading aloud for the first time, her would be victory speech that she would have given had she won the 2016 election.
Finally she bids us farewell and encourages us to ground our actions in our core values and persevere through the inevitable setbacks of life. She hopes that by sharing her story of failures and success you can find a stronger sense of who you are and what you are capable of achieving and how to find the resilience to keep going, whatever happens.
“I have lived my own life long enough now to know that you have a choice every day to be more of what you personally can be that nobody else will ever be able to duplicate. And I hope you'll give it a try.”
The Pros of Hillary Clinton’s MasterClass
An unrivaled opportunity to learn about resilience from a former First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State and presidential candidate
Hillary Clinton has decades of experience of prevailing in a male dominated world.
She’s had to negotiate gender stereotypes, relentless criticism and ferocious opposition. I think it’s fair to say Hillary Clinton is more than qualified to deliver a class on resilience.
She has curated the wisdom drawn from her lived experience of steering a course through shark infested waters in a way that makes it accessible and inspiring. And in the process provided lessons that you can apply in your own professional and personal life.
Structured to promote learning
This MasterClass was extremely coherent and a good balance of theory and practice.
Central ideas were delivered at the start and revisited constantly throughout the class meaning it hung together well.
Each lesson built on what had come before and the stories and case studies clearly exemplified the ideas and concepts being discussed being put into action.
Supported throughout by great examples, graphics and footage
The use of stories, historical footage, examples and graphics in this MaterClass really supported learning.
Key takeaways were highlighted, the examples always demonstrated the ideas being discussed and the music and historical footage adds some real inspirational oomph.
The Cons of the Hillary Clinton MasterClass
Not for everyone
This MasterClass is definitely for everyone. I’ll cover who it’s best for in the following section.
But let’s be honest, attacks on Hillary Clinton do demonstrate a more general “Clintipathy” – a deep dislike of the Clintons. This is not entirely unjustified given certain scandals such as Whitewater property controversy and her use of a private email server while in office. These are not even mentioned in this MasterClass.
At the same time, there can be no doubt that the criticism Clinton has endured has definitely crossed a line. Several in fact. And you could argue that being able to prevail in the face of such violent opposition, and to be willing to share how this was achieved, is actually a pro of the course.
Who is this course for?
If you fall into one or more of the following categories this class is likely to be of interest to you:
- Is intellectually curious
- Is interested in handling criticism more effectively and less personally
- Needs guidance on speaking in public
- Could use inspiration for dealing with setbacks and disappointments
- Wants to build a life of meaning and purpose
- Is an admirer of the Clintons
- Is interested in an entertaining look behind the scenes of a key political figure
This class will not suit someone seeking a critical, rigorous probe into the rights and wrongs of Hillary Clinton’s life.
How much does the Hillary Clinton MasterClass cost?
At the time of writing MasterClass had three subscription offers. The cost of these (per month) is:
- Individual (1 user) $10
- Duo (2 users) $15
- Family (6 users) $20
All are billed annually, which at first glance may seem pricey.
However, you can considerably reduce your costs by taking as many courses as possible.
With nearly 200 courses on the platform you’re likely to find quite a few to interest you. Even if you buy an individual membership and find only 10% of the courses of interest this still works out to only $6 a course:
$120 (annual individual membership fee) / 20 courses = $6.
Bearing in mind that these classes are taught by global leaders in their fields the value is unbeatable. You can pay over $100 for an online course taught by someone you’ve never even heard of, never mind the caliber of teachers on MasterClass.
What’s more, MasterClass also offers a 30 day refund if you’re unhappy with your purchase.
You can also purchase MasterClass as a gift.
On MasterClass itself there are a number of courses you could take as alternatives, or as a complement to, the Hillary Clinton MasterClass.
- Robin Roberts teaches Effective and Authentic Communication
- Melinda Gates teaches Impactful Giving
- Chris Voss teaches Negotiation
- RuPaul teaches Self Expression and Authenticity
- Robin Arzon teaches Mental Strength
- Paul Krugman teaches Economics
- Doris Kearns Goodwin teaches US Presidential History and Leadership
- Malala Yousafzai teaches Creating Change
- President Bill Clinton teaches Inclusive Leadership
- George W Bush teaches Authentic Leadership
And coming soon:
- President George Bush on Leadership
- Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright on Diplomacy
If you are looking for something a little more academic with certification there are dozens of possible courses on Coursera and edX. Notably Coursera’s Resilience Skills and edX’s Becoming a Resilient Person. These courses are delivered by academics from prestigious universities rather than world leaders.
Pricing structures are a little complex for both platforms. However, generally you can take many courses for free, but have to pay for certification.
Udemy also have a number of courses in building resilience such as:
- Success Starts with a Resilient You
- Mindful Resilience for Work-Life Thriving
- The Mental Toughness and Inner Resilience MasterClass
The cost for these courses varies from between $10-50 and Udemy often has sales. Many of the instructors on Udemy are great, but bear in mind that anyone can upload a course to the platform so the quality of the teaching may vary.
Hillary Clinton's MasterClass: what others have said
No review is complete without considering what others have said. So I trawled platforms and forums like reddit and Quora to find out what others who had taken the course had to say about it.
Whilst there were comments on these platforms, not one was from anyone who had actually taken the class!
Widening my search I found negative comments such as:
“Most of the material, broken down into lessons such as "Discovering Your Mission," "Taking Criticism Seriously, Not Personally," and "Overcoming Setbacks," could be more efficiently imbibed by walking into a high school guidance counselor's office and perusing the posters on the walls.” The Washington Free Bacon
“Clinton dispenses advice that is banal and obvious. Its mushy uplifting abstractions would embarrass a corporate motivational speaker.” Current Affairs
From their tone, you could tell that these reviewers were determined not to enjoy this MasterClass and were set against it from the start.
That said, I agree it is often the case that the advice you are given in any MasterClass (and this is no exception) is available elsewhere. What makes MasterClass different is that you hear it in an intimate and motivating way from people you don’t normally have access to and who have demonstrably succeeded as a result of it.
The Washington Post rated it: B for content, B for presentation and A for effort. These aren’t bad scores from such a prestigious newspaper.
And don’t forget, with a MasterClass pass you’ll have access to both Clinton MasterClasses as well as those of George W. and Laura Bush, Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright later in 2023.
Is the course content unique?
Not entirely. There will clearly be some overlap with Clinton’s books Hard Choices and What Happened.
And there's also some free content on YouTube in which Clinton discusses her resilience in various contexts.
That being said, MasterClass has packaged this course so that it gives a coherent overview of everything relevant from her books and talks in just 3 and a half hours.
It’s intense, visually engaging and provides a learning experience that you just can’t gain from the pages of a book.
Alongside this, there is also the fact that there is so much complementary content you have access to if you have a MasterClass subscription.
Is Hillary Clinton's MasterClass worth it?
Overall, it’s a yes from me.
I say this because criticism, failure and disappointment are a sad but inevitable part of life. And we could all benefit from learning to handle them more effectively and maturely.
The class is carefully structured and supported with relatable stories and examples that provide many lessons you can apply to your own personal and professional life.
We live in angry, polarized times in which the spotlight always seems to focus on the negative. But if you can be open minded enough to give this MasterClass a chance I think you will find it has a lot to offer.
However, if you’re ardently anti-Clinton, or perhaps looking for a less anecdotal more academic analysis of resilience, it’s not for you.
It's worth remembering though that an all access pass entitles you to take the 150+ other MasterClasses on the platform. Others that would sit particularly well with this MasterClass are Chris Voss on the Art of Negotiation and Robin Roberts on Authentic Communication.
Plus MasterClass also has a 30 day refund policy, which removes the risk of you losing out if you don’t enjoy it.
So, what have you got to lose?
Frequently asked questions
An individual MasterClass all-access-pass costs $120 a year ($10 a month). This gives you access to Hillary Clinton’s MasterClass along with 200+ other courses.
Hillary Clinton’s MasterClass is 3 hours and 23 minutes long, divided into 16 video lessons.
Unfortunately you can’t get the Hillary Clinton MasterClass for free. But MasterClass allows you to sample it for free, has a range of purchasing options and offers refunds if you’re not happy.
Yes, MasterClass operates a 30 day refund policy if you purchase directly through them. If you purchase through other providers, their returns policy may apply.
Liz Hurley has 30+ years of high school teaching experience and is one of our senior writers here at Learnopoly.