Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Kellcomm- A lesson for CEO's from Obama

On Sunday President Obama gave a lesson to CEO’s on how to conduct an interview about serious issues while under pressure. The pressure came from the tornado that is Bill O’Reilly. The Irish American News Anchor is the most popular star on FOX News TV in the USA. He is pro Republican and known for saying what he thinks about Obama's party The Democrats.

You could forgive Obama for shying away, but he receives the plaudits for handling the interview with grace, intelligence and controlled emotion.

O Reilly started off with a thank you to the President for the Government's protection of some journalists in Cairo. The niceties were now over and O’Reilly launched into a series of statements, posing as questions regarding President Mubarak in Egypt. The aim of this style of interview was to force Obama to accept O'Reilly's views as fact and try to override his time to think clearly and cleverly. Obama was too intelligent for that, and he managed to frame his answers to suit his opinion and not the hosts.

Obama called the host "Bill" despite O’Reilly having previously launched various attacks on Obama's performance as US President. Obama demonstrated an ability to dismiss previous verbal bashings so he could concentrate on creating a connection to disarm the host.

O Reilly continued to challenge the President this way with questions about healthcare reform. O'Reilly had to have the last word and refused to allow Obama to finish his answers. The President remained in control, and his body language was comfortable. O’Reilly’s body language was tense throughout the interview as he failed to puncture Obama's cocoon of composure.

Obama won against a bullish O'Reilly because he didn’t allow the host’s energy and style of questioning to dictate his thoughts. He was confident, communicated with clarity and displayed a respect for the host that was not returned.

Darren Kelly
The Communication Experts