- Dame Enid is unaffected, and real. She knew exactly what she was talking about, and as result so did everybody else. Authenticity works. Stick to what you know. Be yourself with no apologies and no pretensions.
- Build rapport no matter what the occasion. Parliament is a highly formal situation, but Dame Enid manages to undercut it and create a personal connection. Although a public forum, her choice of domestic language and her frequent references to personal experience create a sense of intimacy which change the dynamic. It's almost as if we were at the table talking together, sharing the wisdom of an aunt or a mother - not in the legislature, which is really rather intimidating. Note how she speaks directly to the audience, transitioning from one section to another cordially saying 'now let us ....' 'now let me...' inviting her audience in and acknowledging that they are part of the event.
- Be pleasing to the ear. Dame Enid had a lovely voice, and a gift for rhetoric. Her words are well chosen and sonorous; her phrases are balanced, her cadences flow. Nothing she says is fancy or convoluted or concocted, and 70 years on, it still impresses. The issues have dated and some of the views seem quaint, but she's interesting, easy to understand, and we like her still. Use simple language and be direct with your listeners. Your voice is like a paintbrush to give light and shade and depth to what you say.
(Transcript source:Hansard, Parliament of Australia. Photo by Antoine Kershaw.)
My post on "How Rush Limbaugh is helping me celebrate Women's History Month" is nominated as one of BlogHer's "Voices of the Year 2012." Follow this link to vote--and thanks for supporting this post.