IF YOU CAN CONNECT, YOU WIN...PART TWO
Last Wednesday’s presidential debate was illuminating. The consensus is that in terms of “connecting” Governor Romney “won." I agree. At least on the surface. Take another look at the "Seven Steps to Making the Connection...and the Sale” in last Monday’s Motivator entitled, “If You Can Connect, You Win...” HERE. No question, Romney nailed many of those steps. Specifically, he...
- walked in having let go of any memories of recent “bad” performances and appeared to have absolute conviction that he had everything it took to ace this one.
- invariably he“led with the lede.” He clearly framed his answers without over elaborating - or getting wishy-washy.
- was passionate about his convictions.
- remained on the stage at the end, greeting his family and acting like a winner.
On the negative side...
- His convictions were so strong and his physical energy so palpable that he sometimes came across as combative. His body language - arm movements, etc. - were too quick, too urgent almost giving the impression that he wanted to pick a fight.
- He told stories (always a good idea) but they didn’t come across as believable.
- He smiled for no reason at all - and in an insincere way - which is always off-putting to an audience
As for Obama, he...
- didn’t paint a vision of the future.
- was not urgent or optimistic about what "we can accomplish together."
- didn’t show us his passion.
- didn’t “lead with the lede.” In fact, on the whole, he buried his headlines...or simply didn’t get to them.
- appeared detached (perhaps in an effort to appear presidential and not “go to the mat” with Romney) which can easily be interpreted as arrogance or distain.
- left the stage abruptly giving the impression that he couldn’t wait to get out of there...
On the positive side, he...
- projected a degree of trust and believability - traits that will no doubt be more critical in the last weeks of the campaign.
- told stories that came across as heartfelt and honest.
Okay, now what about this Thursday’s debate between Vice President Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan? Again, playing off the “Seven Steps,” here are my recommendations:
- Inspire the audience; don’t lecture them. No one wants to be taught; they want to be moved.
- Be passionate not professorial. Make it about us...not you!
- Distill/simplify your message. Don’t give the impression that you know too much to possibly explain it all to us - who know so little.Remember, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Check your wonky-ness at the door.
- Show us your passion, but don’t bluster.
- Be urgent but not bombastic. Don’t go on the attack!
- Clarify the enormity of what’s at stake and the clear choices that voters must make...then paint the vision of what’s possible...if you stay the course.
- Remember, if enough people love ya, the ones who don’t, don’t matter. “Do you,” as my younger daughter always tells me..
Okay, there’s one more thing - Step #8 - that these guys and all of us need in order to connect. Ya gotta have a song. "What, a thong?" one woman asked recently in an elete gathering of executive women... No, seriously, you need a song. The one that does it for you, that reminds you of how good you are, how necessary to the world, how right you are to get the job, the raise, the girl, guy...or the votes. Think about it: No band of brothers or sisters ever went into battle without the fifes, the drums and raised voices going first. So what's your “theme song?” Maybe it’s the one you were singing in the seventh grade on the bus after your football team pulled it out of the fire. Or the one you belted out alone in the elevator on your way to ask for a raise. Or the one you sang in the shower to perk yourself up when your girlfriend told you that you didn’t need to call her every day...
And what about our candidates? Heaven knows, they need songs, too. Badly. What do you think? I have no doubt that you'll have some fabulous suggestions to give them. Here are just a few of mine (perhaps just the tiniest bit satirical..)
Mitt Romney: Originally, I thought his theme song should be "You Can't Always Get What You Want.” LISTEN(At least not the 47%..) But after last week’s debate, I flip-flopped to "Anything You Want, You Got it!” LISTEN (I have to admit that prior to last week’s debate, I’d planned on changing it to, "Nearer My God to Thee.” LISTEN (You remember “A Night to Remember,” the original film about the Titanic, right? As the water spilled over the bow the orchestra kept right on playing that song...) I might flip-flop again in a week or two..
For President Obama, I selected "Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” And I’m sticking with it. LISTEN
For Paul Ryan it was easy: "I'll Be Around” ("...when he's gone.”) LISTEN
And for good ol' Joe Biden, the iconoclast, loose cannon and constant counterpoint to everyone else’s claims, I picked: "It Ain't Necessarily So.” (“The things that you're liable to read in the Bible, they ain't necessarily so....”) Another possibility - win or lose - might be “I Did It My Way.” LISTEN
So what do you think should be playing when these guys walk onto the stage? Don’t hold back. Tweet it. Facebook it. Let ‘er rip.
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