Even if you are politically opposed to Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, you cannot deny that he has burst on the national political scene. It is rare that we get an audience as focused as he enjoyed last night — ‘normal’ Senators share the election spotlight across 50 states and the District of Columbia. Mr. Brown had the spotlight last night, and his acceptance speech could make or break him. Those are high stakes.

Bert Decker blogged about his impact already.  I value Bert’s insights (he’s trained 200,000 people!).  I enjoyed the video.  I’d offer a few suggestions for Senator Brown:

  1. He needs to modulate his voice more and become more conversational.  He has a strong voice.  But he spoke in overdrive the whole time.  I know this is a pep rally, but especially as he talks about personal things, he should let the microphones do its job and not try to push so hard.  I’m sure the adrenaline was pumping.
  2. He needs to control his repetitive gestures, especially the banging of the lectern.  Several times he was pointing on every word.  Hillary Clinton used to do this, and was considered “angry” because of it.
  3. He should pause a moment more before starting sentences.  He repeatedly started sentences with the conjunction “and”.  His challenge in that environment is the constant interruption of applause, but he should still start sentences cleanly as a new thought.

When I watch good communicators on a big stage, I ask myself, “What would you say?”  That makes me admire such communicators all the more — when you have so much riding on a speech, it is not an easy question.  I thought Scott Brown started very strong.  He has our attention — now is the time for him to step up his communication. 

Like all of us, he can improve.  Like few of us, he had a global opportunity and excelled.

What are you doing to improve?  What stakes are riding on your communication today?

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