I am in Connecticut and it is 10 degrees. I am watching C-Span2: the US Senate. Senator Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, has been speaking for the past hour. Clearly he cares about the safety of workers in mines yet I am certain his audience checked out 57 minutes ago if they even were able to hang on that long.
What is it about speaking in public that causes humans to forget a fundamental principle in communication: the more interesting we communicate them more likely we will be heard.
I do not own a TV. I usually rely on YOUTUBE to catch up on politicians and their communication style. Last week I watched one of my favorite Senators show appreciation to a military man. I would love to sit in a room with every elected official and show them how easy it is to gain rapport with an audience. The Senator did not gain rapport in this moment.
I worry about the Democratic party. We are such policy wonks. We believe that the words and the right thing to do are enough to get voters and what this country needs. it isn’t. History shows us this.
Little things matter. If thanking a person for their life long commitment to serving their country: do not look down. Do not speak in an unemotional way. It seemed in this video that the Senator was only saying the words because it was required. Perhaps the Senator believed the public would only read the words not see them.
This is what YouTube is doing to politics. We have access to instant videos of the people who represent us. Any time we wish. What the American people want to see is a Senator who means what they say. If they are thanking or admiring and Admiral- really mean it. OR DON’t Say it.
And so it is with you. With all of us. When speaking in public- mean what we say.. show that we have emotion.. connect this with the words. Perfunctory words only repel people. I wonder if preachy blogs do too.