I’ve been fascinated to watch the political ramifications of recent weeks, and to assess the extent to which individuals have risen or fallen because of their communication style. The Leadsom/May battle was one such example.
Andrea Leadsom failed, again and again, to adequately deal with challenge. Several times on the Today programme, when put on the spot, she responded with inappropriate language (that’s a ridiculous argument), in a tone which was overly defensive. She appeared to lose control.
And during the final ’bout’ of the leadership battle (mum-gate), she resorted to immoderate language again. Theresa May remained silent, and won the day.
Effective use of silence/pauses is just one of May’s admirable communication skills. In her first PMQ (www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAYGk4XP23M) she displayed an array of tools – good use of humour; an air of authority coupled with a conversational tone; variety of volume and intonation; strong, deliberate gestures; simple language and sentence construction; confident use of notes (Corbyn meanwhile appeared to be reading his); moments of ‘theatrical’ timing; an ability to think on her feet and respond in a calm and considered manner.
All in all, an accomplished performance.
I’m looking forward to watching more!