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Bernie Sanders and Big Bird – Bringin’ Down the House

August 14, 2015

Professional 3 3836I compared videos of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Big Bird and thought the similarities were astounding.  Big Bird is BIG, acts excited and talks enthusiastically.  Bernie Sanders makes himself big on stage through his gestures, and acts and speaks in a VERY animated and enthusiastic manner.   You could probably find many clips on YouTube of charismatic leaders with a similar delivery style who have drawn a sizable following – which is what Sanders is accomplishing this week at his rallies in California and elsewhere.

I teach my leadership communication students, the bigger the audience the “bigger” you have to get.  As you move from small group settings to larger venues, your non-verbal, vocal and verbal communication must shift, but still match. Your gestures must become larger and more sweeping, your voice must be projected (usually with a microphone) and what you say must become more interesting, inspiring or entertaining.

Remember, when moving from a small audience to a larger one, expectations shift.  You must “get big,” project your voice and entertain or ignite the house.  With a properly expansive and matched delivery, in front of a large group, you’re more likely to be perceived as credible, believable and understandable.

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