With the Republicans in full nomination/straw poll frenzy, it’s a great time to be an acute observer of communication style and substance. For good and bad (and I mean really good and really bad), a national pol’s stock in trade is his or her ability to connect with and grow a constituency. But, of course, it’s not enough just to make contact. Like all leaders, politicians have to move others if they are going to succeed. This is true whether success is defined in terms of winning at the polls (job #1 for US politicians?), or moving legislation through congress. So here’s a challenge to you living, breathing readers (vs. Viagra selling bots who seem to be the most frequent respondents to blogs of this nature); send me links to clips of your favorite (or even most reviled) candidates between now and the presidential election this November, and let’s do a joint analysis along the following lines:
Does this candidate look and sound:
- Like a real person, or as if he/she is being who he/she (exhausting PC gender neutrality…) really is, not some phony automaton.
- Present and in the moment.
- Comfortable taking up all the time and space allowed by the moment.
- Expressing a right to be there, a right to say what he/she is saying.
- Comfortable in his/her own skin.
- Not overbearing, but certainly never asking for permission.
- Truly seems behind his or her words.
- Like he/she really means what he/she (!) is saying.
- Is there genuine depth of commitment in the body and voice or is it just in the words.
- To him/her self (vs. a disembodied repeater of phrases and slogans).
- To the people he/she is speaking to.
- Available, in the moment, to what is actually happening in the room.
Finally, regardless of your personal, social or political beliefs, do the ideas this person shares move you (or might they move someone with congruent beliefs if yours differ, etc.) to do something? Vote. Take action. Contribute. Volunteer.
Send me links to past talks, and notices of upcoming talks so we can evaluate together. But whether you love a front runner or a dark horse, VOTE.