U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales did a terrible job in his Senate testimony yesterday - he must have had training - but who could tell? He said "I don't recall..." over 70 times among other things. Total lack of credibility.
Think of poor Mark McGwire - he thought all he had to do was hit home runs and not communicate. Then on the national stage in his steroid Senate testimony in 2005 he did so poorly - continuously saying "I'm not going to talk about the past..." - that he is best (or worst) remembered for that. His communication (about his behavior) will probably keep him from the Hall of Fame.
And it is sad that Admiral James Stockdale is most remembered for his poor showing in his national Vice Presidential debate against Al Gore and Dan Quayle. Admiral Stockdale was a war hero, a brilliant writer and a member of the Hoover Institute, yet when he died last year the second paragraph on his obit was all about his lack of confidence and speaking in that single debate.
Lessons for all of us in this. Get on videotape and see how you come across. With today's video revolution the "moments of fame" will become ubiquitous, and will be thrust on us in an instant. That's a good thing - you can multiply your influence through video and media enormously - but only if you are confident and effective. Gonzales, McGwire, Stockdale and thousands of others wish they had worked more on seeing how they came across and connected with people. Video cameras are small enough and plentiful enough for all of us to get media training in advance.
Observed behavior changes.