Gordon Brown has survived a hellish week riding on the sympathy wave following The Sun’s brutal and misjudged attack over that letter. One interview during the week showed him at his best. It was on radio.
In this television age, when would-be politicians are assessed on camera before getting the candidacy, Brown is not a natural. When looks count – his clumsy body language (think Despatch box), jaw movement, fatigued expression – he has little going for him. You almost feel sorry.
His voice, however, even when under pressure, remains strong, reassuring, warm even, and authorative. More like a confident leader. If there was a choice he would surely opt for the up-coming TV debate with Cameron to be on radio only.
He will no doubt be aware of the outcome of the first ever televised Presidential debate, in 1960, when Nixon confronted Kennedy. A Gallup poll among viewers revealed that Kennedy came out on top. However, in the same poll among those who only heard the debate on radio Nixon was preferred.
Brown does not look as shifty as Nixon but nor does the camera favour him as it does Cameron.
In business pitches the importance of voice and tone is often overlooked. Changing one’s voice is seen as too tough (although Margaret Thatcher did it to good effect). What will help, and can be rehearsed, is change of ‘pitch and pace’, with deliberate pauses …….. to punctuate and command attention.
Try it , pause………and sound more confident!