10 Nov What Trump’s language can teach the rest of us
An oaf, a knucklehead, a pig, – you name it Donald Trump was called everything under the sun during, unquestionably the most poisonous presidential election ever fought.
However, regardless of what most of the world may think of what’s happened in the US, there are huge lessons that everyone in business can learn from Trump and that is – keep your message so your audience will understand it.
Analysis by essayists of Trump’s speeches during the campaign showed his language was similar to that of a primary school child aged about 9. Meanwhile, Clinton was using more complex language, at least of someone four years older.
This same study showed that in a typical 220 word answer of Trump’s, 172 of his words had just one syllable.
So whilst it’s easy to be snooty about this, Trump got it right – he made his argument simple for his audience, speaking in a language and a style they could understand.
It’s common sense really, but too often overlooked. He spoke to the masses disillusioned with politics in a way that made him look like he was one of them. The fact he is a billionaire, whilst many of his supporters struggle in poverty mattered not a jot.
Sounding like a simple bloke you’d meet in a bar, ranting about the world over his beer glass was in fact a PR masterstroke. To illustrate this, in the summer Lord Sugar’s former publicist David Fraser, said Trump’s campaign was one of the greatest PR campaigns of recent years. He might now reappraise this to best PR campaign ever!
So the message is straightforward. Speak to your audience like your one of them.
As a PR company, we’ve had many clients from different walks of life, and we have to say those most highly educated like lawyers, accountants, and medical professionals are ones that can prove the most challenging.
Too many professionals communication is high-brow, but mentioning microbiota when trying to talk about the gut problems of a roofer or talking about dying intestate when trying to sell a Will to a welder, is well, not advisable.
After all, people, even well-educated ones, don’t want to feel intimidated by gargantuan vocabularies. In fact, make that – big words!
Understanding your audience is what Trump did and sometimes that may mean dumbing it down. It works. The most powerful man in the word is testimony to this.
Trump may be a lot of things, but he’s no fool.