Electric Impulse Communications, Inc.

Special Edition Colin Powell Newsletter

This newsletter includes: Comments on the Meet the Press interview with Colin Powell

I didn't plan on another newsletter. I also didn't plan on Colin Powell executing the most incredible example of communication that I have ever observed. I have studied Martin Luther King's I have a Dream Speech. I have listened to FDR's Fireside Chats, Winston Churchill's nightly radio talks to the UK during the London Blitz, and I have read the Gettysburg Address. Colin Powell's interview topped them all because I was able to see it as it unfolded rather than on old footage.

This is a review of Powell's communication style not the endorsement, not the substance. Just the way he communicated the message he wanted America to hear.

So you might ask what made this interview so outstanding? His use of what I identify as the Seven C's of Communication:

  1. Clarity
  2. Confidence
  3. Comprehensive and
  4. Concise
  5. Conviction
  6. Comfort
  7. Charisma

1. Clarity

I talk about the scalpel of clarity; Colin Powell demonstrated what talking with clarity sounds like. In this interview he took the most complex issues, and answered them in what I refer to as the time it takes to walk across the room. The question about Sarah Palin's qualifications as Vice-President he answered with a clarity that surprised even veteran political pundits. He said clearly, the only job a vice president has is to be prepared to be president.Do you answer in the time it takes to walk across a room?


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2. Confidence

Confidence is defined as a belief in yourself and your abilities. Powell mastered a quiet, seemingly immovable confidence in himself and the decision he made. Senator Joseph Lieberman is another example of a well-known figure that changed parties in support of a presidential candidate. Lieberman announced his support for McCain in front of a bigger live audience, and he did it with more words and a big stage. Powell communicated his support with more confidence. Confidence is not necessarily about drama or a grand stage. The most powerful confidence is an inner confidence. Do you communicate with the inner confidence to move things forward?


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3. Comprehensive and

4. Concise

Powell's comprehensive approach to answering every unasked question about his endorsement was mind-boggling. In moments, he verbalized his logical reasoning for why he was voting for Obama. He was comprehensive yet concise when he identified McCain's Supreme Court nominations, Barack's intellectual curiosity, and steadiness and ability and desire to be inclusive. Did you know you could be both comprehensive and concise?


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5. Conviction

Brokaw asked Powell some challenging questions, particularly toward the conclusion of the interview. Whatever the question, Powell gave his answer and his endorsement with a quiet, strong, determined, and focused conviction. It wasn't a fire-and-brimstone approach, it wasn't professorial, and it was just said with a quiet conviction.


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6. Comfort

Powell was so obviously comfortable in his own skin. So often throughout the debates, McCain has not looked comfortable. It is interesting, at the last debate McCain did not look comfortable, yet later that night he was a guest on Letterman and he looked comfortable and was a great guest. Even admitting that he had screwed up a few weeks earlier when he reneged on Letterman's invitation that he had previously accepted. Visual is so important to any speaker, and how comfortable a speaker looks with him/herself becomes an important factor. If the speaker is comfortable, the audience is comfortable. When the speaker is uncomfortable, the audience is uncomfortable, and will seek comfort by avoiding the source causing discomfort. Do you communicate that you are comfortable in your own skin?


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7. Charisma

Charisma has been defined as "the ability to develop or inspire in others an ideological commitment to a particular point of view." Powell told a story, so effective, tears streamed down my cheeks. By using this story, he was able to inspire in me an ideological commitment.


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Leslie G. Ungar
Electric Impulse Communications, Inc.
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