With respect to the recently concluded U.S. presidential campaign, we saw two of the least effective purveyors of presidential presentations in memory . . .
Let’s just say that both candidates could use major work to overhaul their respective presentation architectures.
And neither’s oratory will ever be mistaken for that of John F. Kennedy.
Both of them are/were just damned bad.
Could they have been any Worse?
It’s no secret why both candidates continued in their obviously grotesque styles of speaking – it’s the same reason that most CEOs persist with bad presentation habits. There is no up-side to critique the “boss” for those in a position to critique the boss.
Not if you value career survival.
And so we see a perpetuation of bad public speaking, a base level that never improves. Both of this year’s presidential candidates have identifiable tics and foibles that are easily correctable.
We’ll look, in turn, at each.
Here are some broad strokes for Mrs. Hillary Clinton.
Her voice is unpleasant. It rasps and her delivery is nothing short of hectoring. A fine line separates “exhortation” from “hectoring” and Mrs. Clinton is way over the line.
Let’s have a look . . .
Mrs. Clinton has the potential to become a competent speaker.
One key to this is for her to drop her “speaker’s persona” and to incorporate her reasonably satisfactory, natural one-to-one speaking style into her presentations in front of large audiences.
Mrs. Clinton alters her style significantly, depending on the size of audience. She becomes robotic, and adopts a mechanical voice and style.
A transparently calculating style.
Don’t Turn into a Robot
Her “big crowd” voice is contrived and she tends to shout while using only her voice box. The result of his inefficient and voice-degrading habit is to destroy voice quality. You can hear this in the accompanying video.
Her gestures are unnatural and awkward, as if bolted on.
None of this is incurable. It requires only awareness and the courage and determination to change.
If she wishes to become a better speaker, she would do well to spend time viewing film of her performances, not for content but for delivery.
The answers to her speaking dilemma can be found right here.
And here, in the Complete Guide to Business School Presentations.
Next up, the foibles of the other guy . . .