With less than 100 days before the General Election in UK, the country, and more specifically, the political parties in UK are gearing themselves up for the campaign trail in April. The politicians will already be training in good public speaking skills, as well as rehearsing key messages.
There is no doubt that many politicians are good public speakers. They might have a natural charisma, and certainly the confidence/ego to stand up in front of potential electorates; debate local and national issues and even field off tricky questions. My MOLE at the House of Commons has said that all of the main party leaders have genuine charisma. They engage with their audiences, and even if they forget a whole section of a speech (like Miliband did in the Autumn), they are good public speakers.
However, I would not be disingenuous in stating that this impact doesn’t come across on the TV. I am not being unreasonable saying that Ed Miliband’s style does not translate well on the small screen. I’m also not unreasonable in observing that there is a barrier between David Cameron and ourselves, when he appears on TV. Interestingly, this isn’t a problem for the Blond Bombshell, Boris Johnson… But then that is another blog!
What the challenge for any politician is that they are having to communicate on three different ‘styles’ of platform: face to face ‘live’; on TV/the media but also on Social Media platforms. The latter is a particularly powerful way to engage with younger electorates. But if you make a gaff live, there is bound to be negative ‘Buzz’ on Twitter.
Personally, I am interested in how effective candidates are at engaging live AND on TV. The public debates at the last election were interesting: the ‘performance success’ of the party leaders was rated differently with live audiences and those that watched on the screen. And even more interesting information: those that only heard an audio version had a completely different experience!
In the next few weeks, I shall be commenting on the performance of the politicians; analysing what works and, well, having some fun with this too!