Stop picturing your audience in their underwear.
Seriously. Stop. I don’t know where that advice originated or why it persists as the “thing-to-say” to nervous public speakers, but it needs to go away. Like now. Really. Because, it’s really bad advice.
In fact, it’s such awful advice that I think you should hold it personally responsible for every terrible speech you’ve ever had to suffer through or will one day be forced to politely applaud.
Why is it such terrible advice?
Think about all of those terrible speakers you’ve had to endure: the boring speakers who lost you at hello…the lecturers who spoke in jargon and/or never looked up from their notes…the self promoters who saw every sentence as an opportunity to tell you how awesome or clever they are…the condescenders who seemed to resent you for lending them your ears…and – of course – the nervous Nellies whose fear of being seen as terrible public speakers actually makes them terrible public speakers. (No one enjoys watching someone who doesn’t want to be on stage.)Read more
QUESTION: Two weeks ago, when you learned that Speaker John Boehner's office was stormed by naked protesters, how did you react? (If this is the first you are hearing about this, a link to the story is above.)
A. I quietly chuckled to myself.
B. I tweeted the story to all of my followers with the preface: “Boehner gets what he deserves!!”
C. I ranted to my wife/husband/neighbor/coworker/Facebook friends about what disrespectful, #([email protected]$&-ing buffoons liberals are.
D. I spent twenty minutes researching the issue and then called my Congressman to voice my thoughts/concerns about federal spending cuts included in sequestration.
OK. Now, show of hands: Who remembers what the naked protesters were protesting?
When you work on Capitol Hill, you get used to being protested. During my ten years as a hill staffer, I was yelled at, sworn at and spit on. I saw grown men dressed up as farm animals, children with pictures of dead babies and a camel. (Yes, a camel.)
Because my email address was public, my inbox was regularly flooded with angry emails and form letters. And I once had to help my boss and his pregnant wife escape two Code Pink protesters determined to snare him in a giant fishing net. Neither of those protesters seemed to know -- or care -- that my boss was on their side.Read more
Originally Published 11/27/2012 at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hoelzer/president-obama-biggest-mistake_b_2197795.html
As Barack Obama prepares for his second term as President of the United States, it’s worth remembering what he identified as the biggest “mistake of his first term.” Six months ago, he told Charlie Rose it was his failure to communicate.
How is it possible that President Obama — whose campaign oratory has quite literally made audiences swoon — struggles when it comes to communicating his own policy agenda?
He applies the same communication strategy in office as he does on the campaign. He even employs the same people. There isn’t a press or communications office in the Obama Administration — from the White House, to the Justice Department to the TSA — that hasn’t been staffed with the same brilliant communicators who helped elect Barack Obama to the presidency not once, but twice.
Yet a majority of Americans still don’t believe that the stimulus helped the economy (despite rather extraordinary evidence to the contrary). And not only can few people explain how Obamacare works, a significant percentage of Americans thinks the president supports “death panels.”
Is convincing the American people that their president doesn’t want to kill them really that much harder than electing the first African-American president?
Or is it possible that communicating policy is different than communicating on a campaign?Read more