Don’t Call the President a Liar! – Dealing with Audience Hostility

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you

You get asked all sorts of questions when you’re 1:1 coaching, from the agony aunt variety to the deeply technical.

I was asked at a coaching session just before Christmas about the best techniques for dealing with audience hostility. You know the sort of thing. You might be imparting bad or controversial news or your audience might simply not want to be there. The scenarios are as numerous as the ways and means for dealing with them but we spent a good deal of time discussing President Obama’s handling of Republican Congressman Joe Wilson’s notorious “You Lie” taunt. It was masterly.

You’ll see from the clip how President Obama doesn’t react but instead, stays calm, fixes Congressman Wilson with a steely gaze, puts one hand on top of the other, collects himself and carries on. He leaves the indignation to Nancy Pelosi.

An object lesson combining perfect self control and the perfect put down.

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