That man knows how to put on a show. Consequently that has created the expectation that other speakers also deliver on performance art.
Sure, substance is important. During Campaign 2016, Trump did get his message across. On election day, it was irrelevant that many disagreed with that message. Enough heard it and bought in to put him over the top on the electoral vote.
That showmanship was not new with Trump the politico or the reality television star.
From the get-go, the Trump clan knew how to get attention. Details on that are provided in the new book "Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power." It's by two The Washington Post investigative reporters Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher. Here you can order it from Amazon.
Showmanship in leadership presentations isn't new, either. Lee Iacocca and Steve Jobs created templates for how to engage audiences in ways that weren't old-line corporate. They had marketing down cold. They ignored the conventional tone and content of statesmanlike public speaking.
So, how can thought leaders put on a show - that both is effective and appropriate. Here are 5 tips.
- Think theatrically. In theatre there are fundamentals that suck in the audience, maintain their belief in what is being staged and leave them with a memorable experience. A useful model is the film version of "Fences." Observe the staging and the unique kinds of talk. That movie, just as had the play, sticks with you.
- Figure out what the audience really wants. It may not be information. It could be reassurance that you have heard them. For instance, in internal communications, employees hunger to know you have their backs. Not necessarily the specifics of the business plan.
- Get it that ego is not your amigo. Trump may seem all ego. But the game he is playing is manipulating the audience. If you forget yourself and how you are coming across you will be able to have the audience in the palm of your hand. It might be useful to enroll in a group Dale Carnegie introductory course on public speaking. Operating in a group blows you out of your comfort zone.
- Allow the conversation to continue. Provide contact information such as your Facebook page. Trump's loyalists assume that he is always tuned into their needs.
- Forget your screw-ups. Trump's public relations genius is his ability to move on from mistakes. Even big ones. The core of that is your ability to forgive yourself. You can develop that through mindfulness. Here is some wisdom from American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron.
Styles of public speaking, just like fashion, keep changing.
Right now, thought leadership has to contain entertainment. The challenge is to put that together in ways that enhance speakers, not position and package them as circus acts.
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