Well first off I’d like to congratulate the newest royal married couple, Will and Kate. It was a fantastic wedding, and I wish you the best. As a Communication Coach, I hope that you continue to relate directly to your public, and don’t be afraid to be real in front of the camera, within reason of course!
Next, I have to send a big Good Luck to GSP (Georges St. Pierre), Mark Hominick, Jason MacDonald and the rest of the Canadian contingent who will be representing this great country on the mat and in the ring this Saturday at UFC 129. It is the first time the UFC has held an event in Toronto, and it was the biggest sell-out so far at 55 thousand seats. I’ll be watching and cheering them on. In the octagon, you cannot hide who you are. The truth will reveal itself. Buckle up.
Speaking of representing our great nation, who is going to win the Canadian federal election? May 2nd is the time to vote and support whichever party leader you believe will do the best job. Or, as some people have suggested, you can pick the one who does the least trash-talking and dirty ad campaigns. (That would be why Smilin’ Jack Layton has doubled his numbers in the last 2 weeks – people are sick and tired of the Liberal and Conservative dirty politics!)
I have to toot my own horn here for a second – it was a great honour to be asked to give my expert communication assessment of the federal leaders’ body language (and other non-verbal communications) after their Federal Leaders’ Debate held April 12th. I was interviewed by 1130 News in Vancouver, AM640 Toronto – The John Oakley Show as well as by host Stephen LeDrew on CP24 LeDrew Live TV show shortly after. I told everyone basically the same thing, which is that from a communication point of view, Mr. Harper had the best showing. He was calm, in control, did not get rattled when he was attacked, and he made symmetrical open hand/arm gestures stemming from his navel, which is an area called the ‘truth plane’. It’s a good place to keep your hands when you are trying to win trust.
Mr. Ignatieff used some poor hand gestures and was caught with his hand on his hip, but did use the ‘rule of 3’ well, which is when you use 3 words that are easy to remember. He repeated “jets, jails and corporate tax cuts” often enough that I still remember them! Problem is, if you overuse this technique, it sounds stale.
Mr. Layton used his smile well, in that he looked great deflecting the criticism with a smile and a joke. He has pretty good posture in general and leads with a strong voice. He was smoother that night that I expected, since Jack usually sounds choppy. He did a great job and I’m not surprised his ratings improved after the debate.
Mr. Duceppe has an obvious disadvantage in that English is his second language, but I can tell you that in any language you do not want to be caught reading your notes, which he was a couple of times. When he speaks fast and impromptu he does not sound as good as when he is prepared and calm.
These are just a few of the things that I noted during the debate. Unfortunately the video from the TV show and the audio from the two radio interviews are not available at this time. However here is a link to a short article from the Vancouver news station, should you be interested:
Have a great weekend, and if you are Canadian, please vote May 2nd. The future is in our hands.
PS – if you or someone you know needs executive coaching, especially for media, public speaking or presentations, please pass along my website contact info. These days it is extremely important that managers and other executives representing the government or a company are clear and confident in their messages to the public, or to the shareholders.