Electric Impulse Communications, Inc. Newsletter

February 2002

Our goal is to help you effectively present yourself and tell your story: through Individual coaching, Keynotes/ seminars, and The University of Akron classes. George Lucas, Raiders of the Lost Ark,
said technology is not about technology- It is about the ability to tell your story!

This newsletter is offered to you as a way to help you think about your presentation skills for five minutes every other month!

However, I must warn you:
It is not enough to think: you must think and DO to be effective. For example, in a State of the Union Address, it is not enough to know you have to be effective, you have to DO the steps to make it happen.

On Tuesday evening, January 29, President Bush will give the State of the Union Address. I could wait until after it is over, and add my comments to the world of spin. However, I send you this newsletter in advance of this speech to enable you to look for certain criteria so that you may be your own armchair commentator! (and learn)

1. Every effective speech needs a SMART objective.
S=SPECIFIC
M=MEASURABLE
A=ATTAINABLE
R=RELEVANT
T=TIME POSSIBLE

Evaluate for yourself, how well President Bush fulfills a SMART objective. First, LOOK for how he will verbalize the objective of this speech. My guess is that it will not be an FDR "we have nothing to fear but fear itself" speech. The world is not at war. LOOK for the objectives and proposed fulfillment of the objectives-judge for yourself if they are "smart".

LOOK for him to NOT talk about Bin Laden BECAUSE finding him, dead or alive as the President has outlined, is not a time possible goal. Finding Bin Laden has proved difficult to do within a time period, and may not be measurable: we may never know if he is dead or alive. Listen for the absence of past Bin Laden declarations.

2. Every effective speech has a repetitive refrain. A line that is repeated and in the best case scenario, a line that lives on in infamy such as "We have nothing to fear but fear itself", "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country","I have a dream". LOOK for a repetitive refrain, likely something revolving around Resolve, Patience, and Courage.

3. Every effective speaker has developed podium presence. LOOK to see him take ownership of the podium. He will not mumble, he will not shy away from difficult words or hard to pronounce countries, he will look the audience in the eye. Picture Michael Jackson walking on to a stage, or the old Whitney Houston taking command of the stage in her first Pepsi commercial. Presence is not something you are born with-it can be learned and developed. LOOK for what message he has conveyed to the TV and world audience before he has said a word? (your audience evaluates you before you begin your comments)

4. An effective speaker knows that the first 30 seconds may be the only time the audience is really listening.
a. LISTEN for the introduction to outline the main points of his speech-will there be three main points?
b. LOOK at the audience during his speech-are they listening or talking among themselves?
It is the responsibility of the speaker to keep the interest of the audience, BUT when the speaker is the president- perhaps it is a good idea for the audience to LOOK interested.

5. LOOK for what is noticeable by its absence. I think there will be no mention of Enron, Saddam,
or Bin Laden. The emphasis will be on a strengthening economy, the long-term fight against
terrorism that started in Afghanistan but will not end there, and enemies that harbor terrorism-without mentioning specific names. LOOK for effectiveness without specifics.

6. An effective speaker has substance and a well-organized plan of execution. LOOK for a blue print for the next phase of his administration. Outline his comments and I think you will see specific mention in chronological order of the successful military operation then a shift to the future plan. This address will be more than a review of the events since 9-11. LOOK for a plan outlining the next phase of the war against terrorism and emphasis on the domestic agenda.

7. An effective speaker has effective TRANSITIONS. LISTEN for the transition that will take the audience from one idea to the next. LISTEN for the President to connect the dots for the audience taking them from one point to the next. Example:"Now that we have outlined our war on terrorism, let's turn our attention to the domestic agenda."

8. An effective speaker is an EXPERT. LISTEN AND LOOK for proof that the President is an expert.
We the audience need the speaker to be perceived as an expert in order for us to listen. Fourteen months ago at least half of American voters did not see George W. as an expert in foreign affairs. LISTEN for proof to his American audience and the International audience that he is an expert in everything in which a president needs to be an expert.


ADDITIONAL PROOF THAT PRESENTATION SKILLS can make a difference:

BILL BELICHICK, former Cleveland Browns Coach and current New England Patriot Coach . . .

1995 Cleveland 2001 New England
He mumbled He did not mumble
He insulted reporters He joked with reporters
He insulted players He congratulated, high-fived, and called players
He avoided questions He answered all questions directly
He appeared disheveled He looked like a coach proud of his team