Armin Laschet was elected chairman of the CDU Germany on January 16, 2021. He prevailed over his main rival Friedrich Merz. From a rhetorical point of view, I’m not surprised for a second. Why? You will find out in this article.
Armin Laschet’s speech was worlds better than that of Friedrich Merz. I suspect that Armin Laschet took a coach for this speech.
How do I compare the two speeches? I could easily list 20 points that struck me as positive in Laschet’s speech. At this point, only a few.
|Armin Laschet||Friedrich Merz|
|Really good: Armin Laschet makes a lot of eye contact with the audience behind the camera.||Not ideal: Friedrich Merz often looks sideways at those present in the room instead of into the camera.|
|Both could speak even more freely if they had a teleprompter (or two) installed. That’s how Barak Obama has done it over and over again. Nevertheless, the point goes to Armin Laschet. Especially because he speaks the ending without reading.|
|He uses his father’s story in underground mining as an analogy for what really matters: Trust.||Friedrich Merz needs practically no stories and no analogies. Therefore, no pictures arise in my head. But these would be important. The whole speech is too abstract, too general.|
|The camera settings are well chosen.||In his place, I would have had a word with the picture director beforehand and certainly afterwards. The attitudes were consistently to his detriment: for example, several times we got to see bored party members or those who were doing something other than listening with interest.|
|Laschet cleverly put the recommendation to vote for him in the mouth of his father (14:08). Quoting Laschet, “He [der Vater] said, “Tell people they can trust you.” That goes down much better than, “Trust me.”||He speaks in the “we” form, but I am not with him emotionally.|
|The conclusion is the highlight of the speech: Armin Laschet stands on the side of the lectern and pulls his father’s dog tag out of his pocket, creating an image for the ages. Moreover, he wonderfully closed the circle to the beginning of the speech.||Friedrich Merz always shows himself more or less the same. It does not result in a special photo subject.|
Conclusion: You should definitely watch Armin Lascht’s speech. And for comparison, a few minutes of that of Friedrich Merz. Finest visual material.
If you too want to give online and offline speeches that move your audience emotionally, give me a call. I will be happy to support you.
If you want more tips, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. Of course, you may also share the post on social media. I would be happy.
I wish you success for your next presentation.
Online meetings and online presentations are here to stay. With this in mind, I want to give you a another few tips on how to make your online presence better.
Look into the camera using a tripod
We’ve already talked about this: look into the camera or webcam during your online presentation. This is not always easy. Because when you show PowerPoint slides, the slides are usually either below or above the camera. I like the recommendation of Markus Hofmann (from unvergesslich.de): Put the camera in front of the screen. Then you can see your slides in the background – similar to a teleprompter. But even then, a conventional tripod obscures the view to a large extent. That’s why I bought the tripod from Nebula Capsule (affiliate link). This tripod is so slim that it lets me see much more of the slide behind it than a conventional tripod. This way I can keep eye contact with my virtual audience much easier.
Interaction with Mentimeter.com
Interaction keeps your audience engaged. There are many ways to keep your audience engaged. Here is a recommendation that has often been well received: Mentimeter.com. With Mentimeter.com, a query is presented in a particularly attractive visual way. It’s explained briefly in this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Sd0fAenuAnw (duration: 1:30 min.).
Query with Google Forms
Do you want feedback from your participants? Then I recommend you to collect the feedback with Google Forms. The result will be shown to you free of charge as a summary or individually. Here is a short explanatory video: https://youtu.be/xEY10Ub-k-U (duration: 3:30 min.).
The right tripodmakes it especially easy to look into the camera, build in interactions e.g. with Mentimeter.com and collect feedback with Google Forms.
I wish you success for your online meetings, online presentations and video conferences. Keep at it!
P.S.: You can get better by attending one of our online or classroom trainings. More info.
P.P.S.: You can find more useful tips and tricks in the book “30 Minutes Online Meetings” (in German).
There are still too many bad online meetings and video conferences even after many months since the start of the Corona Crisis and correspondingly much practice with home offices. That’s why I’m also sharing more tips on how to make online meetings better in this post.
Imagine you are watching the news on TV. The daytime newsreader looks into the camera, comes into your living room razor sharp and the sound is flawless. That’s exactly what online meetings are all about. Consequently, three tips on how you too can look better during online meetings.
- Make sure the picture is in focus. Unfortunately, this is not possible with a cheap webcam, which has been installed in many laptops. That’s why I recommend an external webcam. A recommendable webcam is for example the Logitech C920. Even though it is currently (May 2020) not in stock in many places.
- The lighting is at least as important as the camera. Make sure the lighting comes from the front. There should be enough light, but not too much either. A no-go is the window behind you. This way you are (almost) black on a white background. Daylight is often difficult because it changes unexpectedly in many cases. Therefore, additional artificial lighting can be helpful. A colleague has shown that sometimes a simple reading lamp can be enough. If you like it more professional, light not only yourself, but also the green screen. This way you have a lighting that is almost studio quality.
- Sound is often underestimated. Same issue as with the cameras already built into laptops: the hardware, in this case the microphone, is not of particularly high quality. It is also worth buying an external microphone for the sound. There are several possibilities. You can take a podcaster mic. That’s certainly a good choice. In addition, there are headsets. With wireless headsets, however, you have to keep in mind that you will be exposed to the Bluetooth radiation of the headset for hours. I’ve already gotten an earache from it.
Whatever you do, make sure you get a good picture – also thanks to good lighting – and a good sound.
I wish you much success for your online meetings and video conferences. Keep at it and most importantly – keep being healthy!
Thomas Skipwith supports executives, companies and individuals to present like a pro and to avoid loosing business and reputation through bad presentations.
He regularly speaks at large events and is a four time winner of the European Championship of Public Speaking.
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E: speak [aet) thomas-skipwith.com