Posts Tagged ‘human leaders’

Atul’s twelve days of opposition: day six.

30/12/2011, 02:00:21 PM

by Atul Hatwal

Rule Six: Use the leader’s life to show their  human side

“Show don’t tell’ is normally advice for fiction writers. It involves minimising the exposition and letting readers or viewers experience the story through the character’s thoughts and actions.

Increasingly, it also applies to politics.

Not because political campaigns are works of fiction, not entirely at least. But as the spotlight at each election shines ever brighter on the leader, each party has a story to tell about why their man or woman understands the needs of the country.

Politicians talk about this incessantly, but there is little as persuasive as showing rather than telling. If a leader has a similar background, has gone through comparable experiences and tackled the same challenges as the typical voter, then these actions speak a lot louder than words.

For a prime minister who has the gravitas of office as well as the ability to make decisions that impact people, their personal narrative become less important the longer they are in office. Their “show don’t tell” comes from the choices they make in government.

But for an opposition leader, who has no means to affect people’s lives, and who will likely be largely unknown to voters, the detail of their personal story is critical.

Rule six entails showcasing the opposition leader’s own story in a way that builds a connection with voters and tackles the negatives that are barriers to future office.

It doesn’t matter if they have had a deeply unremarkable past. It doesn’t even matter if their lives are run through with gilded privilege, voters will be interested and use their impressions of the leader’s home life in determining their choice for prime minister.


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