Our guest blogger is Duncan Matheson, President and co-founder of BissettMatheson Communications in New Brunswick, Canada. Here’s what he has to share after reading our blog on media training and the vice presidential debate. This originally appeared at http://bissettmatheson.com/en/blog/
I mentioned in my last blog that I’m quite into the US election, and by extension, the debates. I must say that I was much more satisfied with the vice-presidential debate last night than I was with that awful performance by President Obama last week.
Joe Biden, I thought, did what Obama should have done – challenged his opponent at every opportunity, acted as on-the-spot fact checker when needed, reminded viewers of the 47% video, and generally came across as genuine and with solid messages, presented in a credible way.
But politics aside, there are lessons to be learned from both Biden’s and Ryan’s performances for anyone who ever needs to promote their business.
In his blog The Flip Side, Arizona communications consultant Keith Yaskin lists what he sees as these lessons. I think his assessment is bang on, so I’m pleased to share it here.
- Biden made crisp, key points on Libya. Businesses must do the same on the topics important to them.
- Biden spoke with passion and used his hands.
- Ryan made it personal early on by bringing up Scranton, Pennsylvania.
- Biden told a personal story. Businesses should tell their personal stories.
- Ryan told stories about his family. Business executives should not fear sharing personal stories to make a point.
- Biden used the letters CBO. Executives: Don’t use lingo that many people in the audience won’t understand.
- Both should have been more careful about facial expressions. Media love to show facial expressions which could have unspoken meanings.
- Ryan told a story about someone he met in the military. Again, the media like to hear personal stories.
- Both men got too detailed about Afghanistan. Afghanistan is very important, but too many details can lead to losing your audience. Concentrate on your headlines.
- Biden says “he’s talking about my mother and father.” That’s how you take complicated issues and make them personal.
Those points complements of Scottsdale, Arizona communications consultant Keith Yaskin. It’s a good list.
But it wasn’t all good examples. When Biden pushed Ryan to identify specifically what loopholes his government would eliminate to afford the tax breaks he and Romney were promising, as has been the case throughout the whole campaign, Ryan dodged the question.
People see through that kind of thing. If you are a business owner, don’t do that. It will hurt your credibility.