You Can Learn From What PM Theresa May Lacks!

ANDREW YATES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY/REUTERS

ANDREW YATES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY/REUTERS

The other day I posted a blog about Theresa May’s decision to shy away from the Live-TV- Debate on British Television before the General Election.

I came to the conclusion is was a good idea because being off-the-cuff and under the live spotlight (un-scripted) is not May’s strongest card.

If you want to read the full blog click here

I promised I would share my 26 years of broadcasting, BBC and business experience when it comes to personal impact, charisma and personality and give Theresa May a few valuable tips that could transform her ability to connect with audiences.  

These tips can help you too, however they do require you to step outside your comfort zone a bit – so brace yourself!  

As you know I have thousands of presenting, speaking, body language and technical tips to help you speak in all scenarios; meetings, conferences, pitches, presentations and difficult conversations.

Theresa May has most of these tips down pat given her 40 plus career in Politics. 

If you’re a senior business leader, chances are you’re well practiced in them too.

She’s got experience BUT there’s something missing.

Is she strong and stable!   Yes yes yes.  She’s technically good, she’s got a better, softer “look”, a “stronger” voice (although it can wobble under pressure, just like any of us)

But the ONE THING Theresa May lacks and would do well to acknowledge is this….

She hasn’t got a personal connection with her audience.

She finds it almost impossible to let go and be herself.

  • Who is the real Theresa May? 
  • What do we actually know about her?
  • What does she REALLY think and feel? 
  • Does she think and feel?  

She certainly doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve.

My BIG TM-tip for May having met her a couple of times in a live BBC studio environment is this….

Tell personal stories & connect on a personal level

What do audiences NEED?

They need to know where you get your ideas from, what your core values are and where all your knowledge and inspiration comes from.

Ok TM’s not one to show off.  Fair enough.  She’s ‘serious’ – fair enough.  

But we still want MORE.  Well, I do anyway, and I know I’m not alone.  I want to hear from a real person.

Most of us want a real human being to talk to us, not just a well drilled ‘serious politician’ always on-script.  Anyone could have written that script.

When I was looking for images for this blog – I could barely find ANY photos of her looking directly into the camera.  There’s no eye contact, no connection, no eyes and teeth!  

Hey I too hate getting my pic taken – although I’ve learnt the power of the selfie and I’m now used to videoing myself for the online masterclasses.  I hate watching myself back so I sympathise about not wanting shot after shot of ‘posing’.  

She’s naturally introverted, thoughtful and ‘serious’ so she tends NOT to radiate warmth, love and affection to her audience.  However…

Learning the art of connecting on a personal level would be a game changer for TM.

Here’s how she could tell stories….

I’d like to hear her say ….

”I remember when I first met Maggie Thatcher…..” 

Or

“I remember my father telling me……”

Or

“I remember feeling .when I lost my…….”

Or

“I remember the moment I decided to go into politics……I felt.…when I saw….make a speech”

Theresa, you need to share, and wear your heart on your sleeve.  

What are you afraid of? (We know she’s afraid of being criticised, being vulnerable – remember she came from the land of Maggie Thatcher – the Iron Lady and many women in politics felt they had to act like a man in order to be taken seriously.)

But if she continues this way she will show herself as being seriously out of date.

Sharing your personal side gives you warmth and engages your audience stronger than scripted ‘on point’ speeches that often leave us feeling cold.

Let that be a lesson to the more experienced, technically brilliant ‘serious’ business speaker.  

Your audience wants your knowledge and experience …yes. 
They ALSO want to connect with your and FEEL something too. 

It’s scary, but it’s worth it if you want to win over hearts and minds.

I’ve helped hundreds of people win over audiences both on air and in business and it works.  So, come on, be human, be yourself, let go, take a tiny risk, go off-script and let us in.

If you want help with your high profile conference speech or you have a powerful message you need to deliver to your wider business – don’t be safe and dull, connect with your audience.  GET HELP!  Email me to set up a free chat esther@estherstanhope.com

Matthew Stroud