Did you, like me, watch in awe the inauguration ceremony of President Barak Obama?
Were you amazed at how 2 million Americans of many colours, creeds and backgrounds came together in the freezing Washington air to bear witness to this historic event?
The Presidential address was excellent and Obama’s rhetoric did not disappoint but for me the person who captured the mood and emotion of the occasion was the Reverend Dr Joseph Lowery the elderly pastor who gave the Presidential benediction.
It was not only the content of his presentation that captured my imagination but also the style of his delivery.
He started very haltingly but then his voice gained strength as did the power and poetry of his words. The following extract form me encapsulates the cleverness of his discourse.
“….we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around… when yellow will be mellow… when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.”
2 million people then in a single joyous voice joined with him to chant Amen, Amen, Amen. How many of the countless millions watching throughout the world caught up in the moment joined with him in the Amens.
Also in the speech were many cleverly crafted biblical references “when tanks will be beaten into tractors” (swords in to ploughshares) and noteworthy phrases that embraced all “when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree” but in these few words of colour he painted a picture of disadvantage, discrimination and repression that had been suffered for decades.
What are the lessons we can learn from this speech to ‘sell’ to our ‘audience’?
How can we introduce arguments and proposition to influence others?
Unless we can capture people’s hearts we cannot capture their minds.
I am a lifelong student of what creates power, impact and influence in verbal and non verbal communication and have developed ‘The 7 keys to P.E.R.F.E.C.T. communication’, which I use to coach others to create and deliver presentations of power and impact.
Reverend Dr Joseph Lowery’s benediction and the way he delivered it had each and every element of the P.E.R.F.E.C.T. framework.
Personal Impact – His own presence as he stood slightly stooped before the microphones
Emotional Connection – How we as onlookers, separated by thousand of miles still connected to the power of his words and emotion.
Right to talk – Reverend Lowery’s race and his creed bore testimony to his deep connection with the struggle of men and women of colour.
Facts – His illustration of how the attitude to colour has been used to keep people subjugated.
Encapsulate – In just a few carefully crafted words how he created a vivid picture and weaved an elaborate tapestry of persecution and discrimination.
Congruency – His body language, his voice and the words he used to convey his message carried with them an honesty and passion that was totally congruent and authentic.
The Company – The fact that he shared a podium with Obama, Clinton and many past Presidents reflected the respect, gravitas and esteem of others and validation of his position.
This for me was the highlight of the ceremony and an object lesson of how in a few words we can convey a wealth of meaning and engagement.
Whether we are in front of millions, in a board meetings or pitching to a client the power of our words, the way in which we convey them and the connection we make with our ‘audience’ directly relates to our business, personal and financial success.
90% of what you offer is the same as your competition.
So what is that extra 10% that is the difference between winning and losing that bid?
It’s YOU and how you and your team connect with your prospects
A good presenter entertains us – A great presenter moves us to take action