I’ve posted examples of bad corporate communication before – (see here, here, here and here). But just when I thought I’d seen it all, I stumbled across this video during my travels on Twitter today. This campaign speech by a candidate running for Stark County, Ohio Treasurer is going viral all over the web – and not in a good way. Phil Davidson is the poster child for Horrific Communication.
Mr. Davidson has a highly educated background, which includes a Master’s Degree in Communication, yet his delivery sounds more like that of a professional wrestler or raging bull entering a rodeo ring than a political candidate. I felt sorry for the people in the first row of his audience. No doubt with Davidson’s uncontrollable zeal they were both scared and spat upon.
There is so much wrong with the presentation that it is not even worthy of diagnosis. Given how awful the speech was, there’s a plethora of rules that were broken, such as his disjointed delivery, his quivery voice, the continued frantic pacing and obvious need for more rehearsal time. But my biggest question is where are his confidants? No doubt they too were frightened from the room.
Mr. Davidson could have saved himself from becoming the laughing stock of the Internet – by seeking honest feedback during his preparation. [And we know he prepared because he jumped back to his notes continuously.] Presentations should always be rehearsed – first, videotape yourself and play it back to make improvements, then as your preparation progresses gather a live audience to rehearse in front of – your family, your colleagues, your neighbors, any breathing person with a pulse. Just don’t trust yourself to deliver the speaker and the audience perspective. Someone should have told Mr. Davidson how far off the mark his delivery was and provided constructive comments on how to improve. This is comparable to those American Idol contestants who show up thinking they are the next pop star, but can’t hold a tune at all. Why didn’t their family members say: “You sound like a screeching bird, please don’t humiliate yourself on national TV.”
The whole speech was just so wrong that I am hoping it is a gag. In which case, our howls of laughter that rose exponentially with every sentence were justified.
Likeability in an essential component for any politician’s electability and Mr. Davidson is only likeable here for his comedic relief. Sadly, Mr. Davidson failed to win his party’s nomination for the treasurer campaign … can’t imagine why.