In 2010 Nick Clegg came from nowhere to become Deputy Prime Minister mainly due to his impressive performances in three TV debates against David Cameron and Gordon Brown. Compare that to Theresa May avoiding the cameras in any TV debate where she would be pitted against leaders from other political parties. The strategy backfired spectacularly. Even Jeremy Corbyn was initially reluctant to take part in televised debates, but decided to bite the bullet and front up, though he could have taken part in more.
What this suggests is that even a 20% lead in the Opinion Polls can be overturned by the power of television and the TV cameras, especially if you avoid them. In 2010, Nick Clegg was the only one of the three Party Leaders to take advantage of some Media Training before the live, televised debates and the consensus was that he came out on top.
Theresa May is not a poor TV performer. Even before she became Prime Minister, her strong performances as Home Secretary in difficult circumstances earmarked her as the next Conservative Leader, a safe pair of hands in difficult times. With a little, timely, Media Coaching, Theresa May would have done at least as well as her opponents, none of whom stood out as particularly impressive media performers, not even Nicola Sturgeon (this time), though she had improved out of all recognition in recent years.
The point is that there is so much conflicting advice out there about “Communication”, whether it is Social Media which wins Elections, or the Daily Mail. One thing which does not change is that Performance Skills still count, in front of the TV cameras, on the radio, or even out on the streets, campaigning.
We, at Media Friendly, still believe in the power and value of Performance Skills, which you can learn and improve on through Media Coaching, or Media Training as it has been called for many years.
At the time that Theresa May was being advised not to take part in the televised debates, we knew it was a bad call. Events would appear to have proved us right. The “Empty Chair” is still not a good idea. It never was.
With just a little Media Coaching and a “can do” approach to live broadcast media, Theresa May, would almost certainly be sitting pretty, with a workable majority in Parliament. Instead, there is uncertainty, the Pound has fallen again and the world still seems to be in its “mad state” – what with Brexit, Donald Trump and now a Hung Parliament!