Certainly, many of our political leaders (on all sides of the fence) are not being heard. Why you might ask? Well, arguably they’ve lost the ability to engage.
Do they truly think that answering a question from a journalist with an answer that actually doesn’t answer the question truly serves them well?
Do they think that always trying to put a positive spin on issues, as opposed to firstly admitting that a problem/challenge truly exists, is creating credibility, engagement and belief amongst those ‘wanting but struggling to listen’?
Do they really think that reading scripted content, worse still written by someone else will convey credibility, authenticity and therefore create trust and belief?
They must!! They keep doing these things.
So, is this note about criticising politicians? Well, maybe a bit, but they’re not on their own. Business leaders are still having scripts for ‘town halls’, product launches, new business pitches and more written for them by others. Some slightly better ones are delivering from scripts they wrote themselves. Bravo!
But who seriously is engaged when they listen to a word perfect, learned, emotionLESS, humourLESS, pile of words?
Ah, but the presenter will say, they got through it and said what needed to be said. They didn’t say anything wrong.
(They may as well have said a lot wrong, it wouldn’t matter as few were probably listening.)
I hear all the time, “What if my humour falls flat?” “We don’t want the CEO to go off script.” I ask, how much are you paying this person. Go off script in the moment (if it seems relevant), but at least be in the moment.
Leaders, at all levels, must start to convey their views from the head and the heart. They must realise being ‘professional’ doesn’t mean not having a sense of fun, or showing a cheeky side of their personality, or having the SAME demeanor whether presenting bad or good news.
I started out as a Presentation Coach over 20 years ago believing that our business was about helping people to be more confident, more skilled and hence more willing to present. In part, today this still is what we are about.
However, at Bulmer Group, our responsibility has broadened. Today, more than ever, we are having to be the voice of the audience. Audiences’ time is precious. If they are going to give a presenter their time to listen, let alone consider, then presenters must start to think about what the audience will need from the presenters to be ENGAGED, not just what the presenters might feel comfortable with.
There’s no value in a comfortable presenter, if the audience is in enormous pain!
Let’s get our audience comfortable.
They might then be engaged.
They might then consider.
Maybe, they might then follow our direction. Surely, that’s the goal of being a leader.
If you think Bulmer Group can help, click here.