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Colin Craig, the Conservative Party and media training

1 November 2013
Colin Craig comes across as pretty genuine on TV, but there is one piece of media training advice I would give him to improve his performance. He needs to express himself more with his hands. colin_craig_2His voice tends to sound monotone most of the time, and that’s purely because he is not expressing himself with his hands. This is something our media training clients find surprising, because there is still a myth out there that you should not use your hands, because they will be distracting for viewers. In fact, the opposite is true. If you use them, you become more credible and it also helps you relax. If you saw the Conservative Party leader being interviewed on Q&A last week, you would have noticed this. However, there was one exception. When asked about the Auckland Property Market, he began to relax and started to use his hands. This was when his voice became more varied, or in other words, more natural. This was probably because the topic was one he has a passion for and is very knowledgeable on. This is something we find with our media training clients. Once they relax, their hands start to move and they begin to look totally natural. John Key and David Cunliffe are experts at this. A high profile figure who doesn’t do this well is All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. That is partly responsible for the monotone nature of his voice on TV. Colin Craig wouldn’t want to change too much. He could perhaps tighten up on the messages he wants to communicate. Although, his recent comments about his policies being similar to New Zealand First were clever and guaranteed him some much needed media coverage. As we move into an Election year and he pushes towards the 5 percent threshold, Craig’s credibility on TV will be vital. That’s why the best media training advice I can give him now is to use those hands.

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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