President Barack Obama’s Communication Style

Last night was President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address to Congress and the American people.  As I listened to his speech, I thought about a fascinating conversation I heard Tuesday night on National Public Radio regarding the health care plan.  All Things Considered host Robert Siegel interviewed two health care economists: Uwe Reinhardt, professor of economics and public affairs, Princeton University and Gail Wilensky, Ph.D, regarding President Obama’s health care plan.  As I was driving around Houston’s potholes, what struck me was Professor Reinhardt’s assessment of President Obama’s manner of sharing information – that he either uses an oratory style or he defaults to presenting information in the manner of a graduate student seminar.  Neither style has been effective at explaining the need for an overhaul to American’s health care delivery systems. Americans are confused, frightened, and angry at a plan they don’t understand.  Dr. Reinhardt’s viewpoint is that President Obama needs to be the “Teacher of the People” and use anecdotes and metaphors to illustrate the need for dramatic changes to America’s current health care system.

Well, that’s just good old fashioned story telling.  It’s what great marketing communication is: sharing your story with an audience in a simple and concise style. KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid is the credo of good writers everywhere.

While the title of the report is Opposing views on Health Care Bill,  Siegel’s conversation with Dr. Gail Wilensky, which closes the piece, succinctly echoes the need for serious health care reform.  It’s worth your 9 minutes: Opposing views on Health Care Bill.

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