Plan B: Pivoting with Authenticity When Technology Fails

A couple of weeks back, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis experienced a glitch during his presidential campaign announcement on Twitter. The delayed and scripted message, filled with technical issues, detracted from his desired impact. It got me thinking about all the things that can suddenly change or go wrong when communicating an important message. President Biden had a similar situation in 2020 when his team relied heavily on a professionally scripted video announcement for his campaign. They aimed to show a polished message, but it all ended up falling flat. 

We can all think of a demo that went bad or a time when the projector didn’t work. Sometimes it’s a problem with sound, and sometimes it has to do with a poor connection. The reality is that tech blunders are bound to happen to all of us.

And, when technology fails, the show must go on, no matter what. From product launches to political campaigns, overreliance on technology and scripted speeches, while neglecting the importance of connecting with the audience and speaking from the heart, will likely result in announcements that feel rehearsed and artificial. 

Your audience can forgive many mistakes, but lacking authenticity and sincerity is a crucial flaw that can have a direct blow to your credibility. 

Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Be ready to pivot. Use technology as a supplemental tool to incorporate multimedia elements, such as videos or visuals, to support your message. But remember that you, as the speaker, should remain the focal point, and technology should never replace or overshadow your presence. If technology fails, have a backup plan to continue no matter what.
  1. Prioritize spontaneity and warmth. While technology can be a valuable tool for reaching wider audiences, it should not replace the importance of being yourself. Embracing a more spontaneous and genuine approach can help connect with listeners on an emotional level, fostering a sense of trust and relatability.
  1. Engage with a live audience. When possible, holding a live event or press conference allows for genuine interaction, creating an atmosphere of authenticity and trust. Real-time feedback and audience reactions enable you to adjust your delivery accordingly, enhancing the impact of your message.
  1. Effective communication training. Investing in honing communication skills is crucial. Learning to develop your executive presence, captivate an audience, deliver a compelling message, and convey authenticity will have a far greater impact than relying solely on the pizazz of technology.

At Decker Communications, we believe listeners will always value authentic human connection over the dazzling effects of technology. While the use of communication technology has made impressive leaps and bounds, the power of influence, gravitas, and likability remains paramount. Over more than 40 years, we have focused our coaching, training, and consulting offerings on one simple tenet: People still buy off on people rather than on the appeal of a grandiose presentation.

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