Saturday, August 18, 2012

Enthusiasm + Joy = Great Communication

Support her husband or not, you can’t dispute that Ann Romney’s style is infectious. Watch any of her interviews, and whether Democrat, Republican or Independent, you’ll probably be impressed with her enthusiasm, intelligence and fearless engagement of the interviewing process.

Dealing effectively with the media in an often hostile and confrontational environment takes some skill, and she is darn good at conveying her message and ably navigating around tricky situations. There’s just no hesitancy about Ann Romney!

On Aug. 12 the 2012 summer Olympic Games came to a close, and the word “enthusiastic” describes so many of the gold medal winners. 17-year-old swimming prodigy and multi- Olympic Gold Medal winner Missy Franklin consistently conveyed pure joy and an infectious smile with each win. She was enthusiastic about every event, her energy abundant from beginning to end.

Women’s beach volleyball, a relatively new Olympic sport, has gained a devoted and wildly supportive fan base. I doubt there’s a more enthusiastic player than Kerri Walsh-Jennings who, with her partner Misty May-Treanor, took home a third Olympic gold medal. All six feet, two inches of Kerri is a powerhouse: relentlessly optimistic, positive, joyful and uplifting!

Silicon Valley guru Guy Kawasaki, in his book Reality Check, finishes the last chapter with a list of ten things to remember. Number two is “pursue joy, not happiness.” He concludes that it’s probably the hardest lesson of all to learn because “happiness is temporary and fleeting……Joy, by contrast is unpredictable and intense. It comes from pursuing interests and passions that do not obviously result in happiness.”

Roger Ailes, President of Fox News Channel, teaches that “A good communicator’s energy is perceived as ‘life force,’ vitality: an aliveness and vigor exemplified at its best by very good communicators like John F. Kennedy.” And I would add Bill Clinton.  Project enthusiasm and most so-called speech problems clear up automatically.

On Aug. 11 Mitt Romney introduced Paul Ryan as his choice for the vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party. Ryan is a package of enthusiasm, energy and a real joyfulness.

If you watched closely after Ryan was introduced, you would have seen him descending the stairs and striding purposefully to the podium. On instant replay you can watch his body pulling up into a tighter stance, giving the impression of a man growing taller and expanding to fill his space. In those minutes he became physically and mentally engaged while soaking up the energy of the crowd of well-wishers and obviously loving every minute. Sorry, I can’t remember what he said; but his enthusiasm for the task ahead of him was a strong and lasting visual!

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