HOW TO BE FORGETTABLE…
I know, I know, you’re wondering if that’s a typo right? As a communications coach, I’ve written and spoken frequently about the “Seven Steps to Being Unforgettable.”
But that was before I heard President Trump give his State of the Union Address last Tuesday night.
Seriously, if there had been a “groaning scale” Mr.Trump would probably have been right “up there” in the ratings.” And much as he likes touting his high ratings, knock-out scores on the “groaning scale” would probably never have passed his lips…
Obviously, I’m exaggerating to make a point. But not all that much.
One of the tried and true keys to making a memorable, motivating speech is to remember that “it’s not about you.” It’s about them: the audience and what they’repassionate about, worried about and hopeful will happen in the future.
But Mr.Trump felt compelled to regale us with a litany of the accomplishments of his first year in office…rather than stirring us by inviting us to consider what the future could hold if we work together.
His speech was more a harangue than a “conversation” with the audience.
It was full of the word, “I.” “I’m proud to report…” “I have just signed…” “I will not repeat the mistake of the past administration…” and countless other “report card- like” declarations about the “A’s” he’s earned during his first year in office.
Unfortunately for Mr. Trump, his speech was followed immediately by the powerful, even riveting “Democratic Response” of the young, impassioned, visionary, Representative Joseph Kennedy, III.
Young Mr. Kennedy, did his forebears proud.
He was urgent; he spoke straight from the heart – and even the gut. And not once did he make it “about him.” And not once did he break his powerful connection with his audience. His eyes searched their faces for reactions. The expression on his face was serious and urgent without being angry or negative. He painted a vision for what was possible rather than merely casting blame on the past.
Towards the end of his speech, he said he’d been thrilled by the young girl sitting atop her mom’s shoulders at the January 20th Women’s March, holding a sign where she’d written, “Build a Wall and My Generation Will Tear it Down!”
Joe Kennedy was unforgettable.
Here’s a link to Representative Kennedy’s speech in case you missed it or would like to take another look.