Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lessons From Hillary

Today, January 23, 2013, Hillary Clinton testified on the tragedy in Benghazi before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  I'll let others opine on the merits of her testimony. I suggest any woman or man who wishes to project their personal power go watch her appearance today. 
In terms of style and skill, her testimony was a communication classroom to watch someone who knows what they're doing in this type of setting.  My takeways:
  • She sat up in her chair and engaged senators eye to face
  • She was "all-in" - intellectually, physically and emotionally
  • She gestured with purpose, synching gestures with words 
  • She varied her pace and punch while reading her statement
  • She probably read from bigger font, short paragraph text
  • She directed answers to her questioner, not the committee
  • She let the questioner's emotional force wash past her
  • She responded to sharp accusations in calm, neutral terms
  • She raised her voice once, to confront issues, not a person
  • She framed her answers in clear, common-sense realities
  • She projected her competence, clarity and transparency
  • She illuminated her own sorrow, responsibility and regret
Finally, for any women around the world who speak in front of committees of two women and a whole bunch of middle-aged guys, take a lesson here. Like Hillary did; don't play to their standards. Play to yours.  Own your stage and space.  Project your physical, emotional and intellectual power.  Give them the whole package you possess. 

The men on that committee respect Secretary Clinton and know she's a force to be reckoned with - partly by performance and reputation, but also by how she carries herself in the spotlight. 

Love her or loathe her; she owns the room!

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