Needless to say, it has been one of the most polarizing and nastiest Presidential elections of our time and one of the biggest upsets too. Regardless of whether you are Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, or Green OR whether you voted for Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Stein, or wrote in Bernie’s name or someone else’s…this election was a stunner!
Let me say that as a Presentation Skills Coach, I never publicly pick sides, and I will never do so, but I use public figures to help make some points about Public Speaking. And I have always used Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan in my seminars and keynote speeches as examples of two, two-term Presidents who both were considered “great communicators”. So regardless of whether you are happy or sad about the outcome of the election, let’s simply focus on the communication skills of Donald Trump and see if we can learn something to help us with our messaging…
1) Keep Your Message Simple, and Repeat
Many studies have proven that people remember statistically less than 10% of what they hear when listening to a presentation. I always ask my participants, “What do you remember from school or college?” That gets a lot of laughs and proves the point…case closed. Regardless of the actual percentage number, one of the first things Donald Trump did was keep his message simple. He had special names for his Republican competitors during the primaries, and of course a special name for Hillary…need I say more. Point is he said these words and phrases over and over again, and in essence he kept the message simple even above and beyond name calling.
2) Keep Your Vocal and Body Energy Up
Trump joked about Jeb Bush having low energy, and then accused Hillary Clinton of exactly the same thing. Generally speaking, Donald Trump had more vocal energy, used more body language, and generally took the energy from the crowd to help him soar even higher. Bill Clinton used to do the same thing. Both of these guys enjoy the spotlight, and like seasoned rock stars, they get inspired by their audiences and then they deliver. They use the energy of the crowd to lift them up!
3) Be Authentic, and let out the Optimum You!
It is no secret that Hillary Clinton was more of a behind the scenes, get the job done, type of person, and that she dreaded the actual campaigning part of the job, regardless of her overwhelming qualifications. Hillary supporters were always telling us how “funny” and “charming” she is one on one or in private. Too bad for her we didn’t see more of that in public? Furthermore, Donald Trump (again love him or hate him) seemed like he was being himself. Self-assured, confident, brash, unapologetic, and never tentative…
In summary, I always tell my clients, it is okay to “know your stuff”, but also “look good” in the process, therefore you can have the best of both worlds, by not only being smart, but looking smart too!
Till Kahrs is has been a Business Communication Consultant for over 25 years. He is also a Keynote Speaker and has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Television appearing on networks such as Fox National News and ABC TV. Kahrs is also the best-selling author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills”, an international business classic now also available as a Kindle or Nook E-book. Two of Kahrs’ most popular keynote topics are “Handling the Hot Seat” and “Speaking Successfully” which address in much greater detail some of the issues mentioned above.
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