Last night was a big deal. There is no other way to describe it. It is important that we stop and celebrate the fact that we have our first female presumptive presidential nominee. Finally, after all of this time, a lot of things came together effectively for Hillary Clinton in her speech. Here are a few critical elements that Hillary did differently that are important to note for any speaker.
1. A clear sound bite: #StrongerTogether
For the first time, Hillary had a very clear sound bite and message that sets her apart from Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. In this particular case, Bernie Sanders is not walking the talk of supporting the Democratic party. He has led in words, but his actions sometimes speak louder than words. He could have stood up and stopped his followers when they boo, when they were rude online, and call for better behavior. He has had many chances to support unity, but it has not shown up yet. Donald Trump is not in favor of a stronger together message, despite the fact that America cannot be great again without unity. It is critical that Hillary hit home with this message, stronger together. She did this in many ways throughout the speech.
Insight: People have a short attention span, you have to develop a clear 2-3 word message to connect and have it be shared.
2. We instead of I
In previous speeches, Hillary has used I, which can come across as focused on self, even if she meant it from a leadership standpoint. A more powerful message, which is also aligned with the core message of #strongertogether, is using WE. She used we dozens of times last night during her speech. She also spoke to how the journey and last night’s achievement was for all of us. For the women and men at Seneca Falls, and everyone along the way, making last night possible. Her use of we in different ways last night was powerful and unifying.
Insight: Whatever your core message, every action has to reinforce it to be credible.
3. Substance with an emotional, values-based message
Hillary Clinton typically speaks to policy and function, but an election is all about creating an emotional connection. Last night, she spoke to values and inclusion, an emotional message, which can help change minds and hearts. This is one of the first speeches were the majority of the talk was about the future of America and what we want our country to look like. This was a more emotional call to action which will resonate more with voters.
Insight: How are you connecting with your audience, with a functional or emotional message? Is your point of difference clear?
4. Change in style
Many critics of Hillary say that she yells, screeches, and is too robotic. However last night, she was conversational throughout the entire talk – a much more intimate discussion without being loud. She brought us in through her celebratory smile, her open arms, and reveling in the historical moment – bringing viewers along with her. Her style was more relaxed as if we were sitting in her living room, not in a huge hall with millions of viewers.
Insight: Constantly evolve to be relevant to your audience. Assess your style and ensure it resonates. Be open to feedback and change.
It will be very interesting to see how she incorporates these changes moving forward, especially with the unpredictability of Trump. Her personal brand has always been under attack. If she can maintain these critical elements: clear sound bites, intentional style, and a substantive message that resonates emotionally, she will show up on her terms, not his.
Be your best self,