It’s All Right to Cry

January 9th, 2008

They say everything communicates. I guess that includes one’s ability to get a little misty on national television.  Just ask democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.

Clinton eked out a victory in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday after most polls showed her trailing Barack Obama by double digits as late as Monday.

So what changed? An Obama scandal? No. Could the polls have been inaccurate? Maybe. But the most likely explanation is that Hilary swayed voters by showing that she’s “human” and that she “cares” by getting choked up.

Was Hilary’s emotion genuine? It seemed to be, but the reality is that it really doesn’t matter. Because the people she needed to believe, the voters, clearly did. Well at least 40% of them did anyway.

The lesson to take away from this as communicators is that the manner in which information is communicated is just as, if not more important, than the content being delivered. So while you don’t need to cry during your next career making presentation, you must be aware of what your tone, gestures and general demeanor communicate.

And the next time Hilary Clinton sheds a tear, don’t worry about handing her a tissue because someone else may be handing her the presidency.

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