One of the highest rated ex-presidents of all time, former president Bill Clinton has mastered the art of communication. It is clear that when he gives a speech, especially one revolving around the work the Clinton Foundation does around the world, people listen intently. His message is always heard, and is often moving to those listening. Today we’ll be looking at some of the ways we can communicate like Mr. Clinton.
- Be Personal. Clinton has a tendency to recount personal encounters as the prized highlights of his terms as President. He can recount interactions with individuals better than most of us can recount what we had for breakfast. Remembering those personal interactions and sharing them with others allows him to connect with those listening.
- Speak to the Listener. Whenever the former 42nd president speaks, he does his best to avoid coming off overly intelligent or arrogant, despite his high level of intelligence. He often speaks in the second person, using phrases like “You might be really interested to know…” Using the word you when addressing a crowd allows an audience member to feel like he and Clinton are having a direct conversation.
- Read Up. President Clinton is rarely stumped. He can often answer a seemingly very difficult question with correct facts, or give an opinion on a topic using facts and statistics to back it up. He manages a fine balance of intellect and approachability, which is something people instantly connect with.
- Respect Everyone. Clinton is famous for his pleasant and kind demeanor. Hand in hand with this is the fact that he doesn’t present himself as judgmental of anyone. No matter if he is speaking to other politicians and leaders or high school students, Clinton addresses everyone with the same level of respect. When you treat people with respect, they will connect with you more readily.
- Be Optimistic. Clinton isn’t fond of bad news. Recently, he has gone on record with respect to the United States current situation as saying, “The trend lines are better than the headlines.” He backed the statement up with statistics and facts, noting that, “Good news is not always newsworthy.” When a leader can define reality and offer hope with fact-based optimism, people have no trouble connecting.
- Illustrate Points With Stories. Clinton is a master story teller, often sharing a compelling one that supports the statement he is making. He constantly recounts stories about his talks with different world leaders to illustrate a point he is currently making. People connect with those stories, which is why effective leaders use them.
- Simplify the Message. Clinton is adept at simplifying a message down to one or two memorable sentences. Check out the examples in tip #3 that display the simplification of his message about the state of the US. Some other of Clinton’s one-liners are, “Character is a journey, not a destination.” “We must teach our children to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons.” “You can put wings on a pig, but you don’t make it an eagle.” When people can remember a well crafted takeaway, they can connect to the message and the leader much better.
What do you think of President Clinton’s communication skills? Do you think they’re worth implementing in your own life? Are there some things you think we missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends. Have an awesome Tuesday, and we’ll see you tomorrow!