Like many Americans, I watched the pomp and circumstance that we call the 2013 Presidential Inauguration. This year, I watched with a couple of politically-minded friends who had some interesting comments about the event that got me thinking. I’d like to share my thoughts (and to hear yours!)
KNOW YOUR STAKEHOLDERS – It’s no secret that much of Obama’s win was due to individuals in urban areas. US Urban areas are now filled with people who are Latino, LGBT and/or young. This year’s Poet Laureate, Richard Blanco filled all 3 of those demographics. He’s the son of Cuban immigrants, gay, and the youngest Poet Laureate yet.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR BODY LANGUAGE – Obama has adopted a habit that both Clinton and Dole use: he holds hid hand in a soft fist, that he moves up and down to emphasize key points that he’s trying to make. Dole developed that habit because of a paralyzed hand and put a pen in that hand so it didn’t appear that way. Though it’s an effective method for showing emphasis, my friends were finding it almost violent. Obviously these sorts of things will be interpreted differently by different audience members, but these sorts of things are worth a review. We all want to come off accurately!
REPETITION ISN’T ALWAYS A BAD THING – Much of what Obama said in his speech had been said on the campaign trail and at other speaking occasions. He gave props to the various groups who helped get him into office, he re-iterated the fact that he’s not done and that there is a lot left to do to implement his vision. For those that had already heard him, they were comforted to know he hadn’t changed his mind. For those who hadn’t heard him, they were brought up to speed on his thoughts. Not a bad thing for such a large group of stakeholders (both American people and non-Americans with an interest in the United States).
DON’T FIDGET IF YOU’RE ON CAMERA – Poor Sasha, the Obamas’ youngest daughter. She was cold, had trouble sitting up, and was tired of all the pomp and circumstance. Alas, she’s still the daughter of the “ruler of the free world,” and is expected to sit still. Her fidgeting was no doubt endearing to some folks, but distracting to others. Don’t fidget. Even if you’re only 12. People will comment.
KEEP IT SHORT – This year’s inauguration was one of the shortest that I can, at least, remember. The agenda was worked through quite quickly. Official words said promptly at noon. Various speakers and singers up and through their task quickly. The entire outdoor process taking only roughly an hour. Nicely done! Especially considering how cold it is in January.
ACKNOWLEDGE ALL HOSTS – Both Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce forgot to hug Vice President Joe Biden as well. They both hugged/shoke hands with President Obama and failed to turn around and do the same with Biden. They were no doubt overwhelmed and not meaning to overlook the Vice President, but alas they did. Not the nicest moves.
Anything else strike you as you watched? Please share!