The Election Campaign is well underway and we are seeing the political leaders appearing in staged settings; with friendly audiences enthusiastically supporting the candidate. I have no doubt the audiences are carefully selected local supporters, who give the impression there is a lot of support for the candidate. There are no hecklers; only smiling faces and cheering!
This particularly plays into the strengths of Jeremy Corbyn, who clearly demonstrates his charisma and ability to convey clear messages with a considerable amount of clarity. He also uses all of the old school techniques of using his hand gestures to emphasise specific points, and fist thumping to raise the energy in the room. Good luck to him!
At this stage of the game, Corbyn has nothing to lose. You will notice I am not focusing on the gaffes: Diane Abbott, leaked manifestos, failing to attend ‘poster’ launches and his car running over a journalist. By any accounts this isn’t a good start to a political campaign: but I am focusing on speaking and communication excellence via the #electionsuperstar hashtag.
So what is it about Corbyn that generates so much ‘lurve’ and support from Labour Supporters? Basically, he comes across as a genuine, authentic person, who cares very deeply about a variety of issues. He cares for those struggling to pay their rent; communities that have been forgotten and unemployment in areas of the country. This appeals to people who are experiencing these challenges. Yet as we know, his colleagues in parliament (the Labour Party) don’t feel the same about him as he doesn’t play a political game. Interesting when we have an election where the electorate decide, not fellow MPs.
So how does Corbyn score as an #electionsuperstar ?
- Performance: Corbyn has the old style public speaking vibe, with fist punching and revving up the crowd. He does have presence and engages his (carefully chosen) audience. 4/5
- Preparation: Even though there is plenty of evidence Corbyn says what he’s thinking that moment (!) he has been in the political game for too long NOT to prepare. However, it doesn’t appear this is a priority for him. Also, he is going against the Labour Party’s thoughts on having clear messages. I suspect he is going contrary to the glossy, over rehearsed Ed Miliband at the last election. 2/5
- Audience: He hasn’t been tested with a random audience. So far, he has had carefully chosen followers. It will be interesting to see when he’s heckled. He doesn’t do well in PM’s Question Time in the House of Commons. 2/5
- Voice: Good clear voice; he has energy and variety of tone, pitch and volume. He uses it well. 4/5
- Content: Corbyn has the priceless situation where his party are predicted not to win the election. So he can say exactly what he feels and have big vision thoughts. Some of these thoughts are totally impractical but he is going for it. No genuine thought has gone into the implications of the content in a political sense. Much of his content is slammed by the opposition. 1/5