Three lessons from Nicola Sturgeon

Politics aside, yesterday, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon delivered a considered, measured and refreshingly authentic resignation speech that many of us in corporate and public affairs could learn lessons from.

Nicola is a master orator and communicator, and she delivered her parting with great clarity, while revealing just the right amount of vulnerability.

In any circumstance, when an executive or politician needs to ensure that a message hits the mark, we could take away three key points from yesterday’s announcement.

  • Be authentic
  • Be relatable
  • Be respectful

While it’s certain that the First Minister did not achieve all that she set out to do, she knew when the time was right to step down, and she steps away in control of her delivery and her message. She was authentic. Even though authenticity is a word thrown around quite a lot by executives and politicians alike, most audiences know when they’re being spoken with rather than at. She delivered key messages about her party, her achievements and failures, and how the job had taken a toll on her mentally and physically – all while assuring the Scottish people that there was still control and that they will be taken care of.  

She spoke about the lack of privacy and how the job of the first minister is 24/7. A job that is so consuming that it affects one’s personal relationships is incredibly relatable for many. How often are we devoured by a career that leaves little time for more balance in our lives?

Be respectful to your audience. Nicola delivered a speech that addressed her audience as equals. We were not spoken down to, we were given the facts as well as insight into Nicola, the woman.

Whatever your political views, we will be speaking about the first minister’s resignation speech for a while to come. It’s a great lesson in delivering key messages succinctly and leaving your audience wanting more.

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