October 28, 2008

Like, cool.

I caught Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show the other night during her interview with state senator Hollis French of Alaska.

Besides the fact that she has short hair like me and wears a t-shirt in the picture on her website and says this in her bio...

"She shakes a mean cocktail, drives a bright red pickup, hates Coldplay, loves arguing with conservatives, spends a lot of money on AMTRAK tickets, and dresses like a first-grader."

...there's also this:

"You know, it's funny. Every time we have somebody on from Alaska, they're like *the* most articulate, clear-thinking, clear-speaking person we've yet spoken to."

Did you see that? She said "like!"

My jaw fell open. I quivered gleefully. The host of a nationally televised show said "like." (And "you know," but who's keeping a list?)

I'm not saying if Rachel jumps off a bridge, you should too, but as I've said in the past, an occasional filler is not going to ruin your effectiveness as a communicator.

The most effective speakers are those who aren't afraid to be themselves and aren't trying to be like someone else.

The most effective speakers are those who have a conversation with their audience.

The most effective speakers are those who don't try to put themselves above their audience, but connect in a way that their audience can relate to them.

Like it or not, her informal style is working. Her ratings continue to rise (half of her shows have averaged a higher rating among 25- to 54-year-olds than "Larry King Live" on CNN), and viewership in her time slot has doubled since she came on the air a month ago.

How are you beating the competition?

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa, I love Rachel. Very comfortable in her own skin and a very smart commentator.

Not too long ago she was a crazy 'traffic girl' on a radio show.

Funny how fast an ascent you can have when you're an outstanding communicator.

Talk soon...


Lisa Braithwaite said...

Hey Ross,

I must be the only person who had never heard of her before a couple of days ago. Now I'm in the loop!

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