Vulnerability in Communication = Audience Identity

President Obama had difficulty with the word “superfluous” (video of the episode). He then joked with audience that it is tough to say “superfluous” with twelve stitches. I didn’t see this as an excuse but a moment where he was being vulnerable. When he was finally able to get the word right, the audience applauded showing a clear sign of identity with him and his plight. Sometimes communicators feel the need to appear “above it all” and that they must have it all together. In doing this,  the lose the opportunity to really identify with their audience. There have been several times over the years I have preached sick. Once, only a few days after having a non-malignant cancer removed, I got very light headed on stage and joked about having to preach laying down. Being honest about a weakness actually helped because people now knew what was wrong and were not distracted the whole time thinking, “What is wrong with that guy? Why is he so sweaty and pale?”

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Jordan Fowler

Jordan helps small businesses grow as the owner of Moon & Owl Marketing, a marketing and advertising agency in Fort Worth, TX. Lover of cycling, track and field, and borderline Liverpool FC fanatic.

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