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Since antiquity…
• Development of rhetoric
• Public speaking is seen as an essential skill for
politicians
• Communication...
Public speaking is still important
• Evaluations and descriptions of public speaking
skills were mentioned most often in the
newspaper data.
• 37% of all men...
In Newspapers:
• Must have something to say.
• Politicians are too often:
• Verbose, nonspecific, rambling not fluent
• La...
Era of Mass Media
• From public speaking to media skills.
• Parties began to teach politicians how to
communicate with the...
Media Skills
Almonkari & Isotalus 2012
• In newspapers 41%
• Understanding the role of media: 22% of all
mentions of commu...
The television debates
• They have been studied a great deal.
• The most studied oral communication situation in
the polit...
The starting point
Functional Theory of Campaign
Discourse
Three types of discourse:
•Attack
•Defence
•Acclaim
Cultural differences
• The Functional Theory does not fit Finland.
• Isotalus & Aarnio (2006)
• In Finland, it is more a q...
Television performance
• Television has emphasized the communication
competence of politicians.
• Nonverbal communication ...
Mediatization of Politics
• Describes the changes (process) of political
communication.
• Emphasizes the influence of the ...
Personalization
1. It refers to a stronger focus on candidates or
politicians instead of parties, institutions or
issues.
...
Personalization (Van Alest et al. 2012)
Privatization – An example of personal life
Interpersonal communication
• This is an often forgotten dimension of
communication competence.
• However, it is important...
Social media is a challenge for
politicians
• In Finland:
• First websites in the 1996 European
parliamentary election.
• ...
Facebook & Twitter
• Importance is growing.
• Appearance of new media: Instagram,
Snapchat….
• Weak correlation observed w...
Results on live-tweeting
• Party leaders’ assistants or active members of
parties tried to influence impressions of party
...
Timo Soini – spiritless
Alexander Stubb - favourite
Paavo Arhinmäki - bully
Ong’s theories in Orality and Literacy
• Primary orality
• Print oriented phase
• Secondary orality
• Are we living in the...
Needed communication competence of politicians
Interpersonal communication skills
Thank you!
www.isotalus.fi
pekka.isotalus@uta.fi
Communication competence and new challenges for politicians: From public speaking to live tweeting
Communication competence and new challenges for politicians: From public speaking to live tweeting
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Communication competence and new challenges for politicians: From public speaking to live tweeting

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Keynote lecture in the Conference of ECREA section for Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction. In Aarhus, Denmark 2015

Veröffentlicht in: Präsentationen & Vorträge
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Communication competence and new challenges for politicians: From public speaking to live tweeting

  1. 1. Since antiquity… • Development of rhetoric • Public speaking is seen as an essential skill for politicians • Communication competence is seen as important for politicians
  2. 2. Public speaking is still important
  3. 3. • Evaluations and descriptions of public speaking skills were mentioned most often in the newspaper data. • 37% of all mentions of communication skills. • In an interview of party leaders, public speaking skills were mentioned briefly (18%). • “It is clear that if you have a good command of rhetoric, it helps a lot.”
  4. 4. In Newspapers: • Must have something to say. • Politicians are too often: • Verbose, nonspecific, rambling not fluent • Lacking openness, colour and charisma. • Positive characteristics: plausible, charismatic, clear, understandable. “Voters are watching politics through persons. A charismatic, quick-witted leader is a great help for a party” (Aamulehti, 1 June 2008).
  5. 5. Era of Mass Media • From public speaking to media skills. • Parties began to teach politicians how to communicate with the press. • The newspapers were for a long time the primary medium. • Gradually radio became important. • From the 1960’s, television has been the central medium.
  6. 6. Media Skills Almonkari & Isotalus 2012 • In newspapers 41% • Understanding the role of media: 22% of all mentions of communication skills • Relations with journalist: 6% • In interviews 36% • The biggest class of communication skills was media skills • Relationships with journalists: 14% • Understanding the media: 6%
  7. 7. The television debates • They have been studied a great deal. • The most studied oral communication situation in the political context. • More studied their effects on voters. • The US presidential elections have been especially studied.
  8. 8. The starting point
  9. 9. Functional Theory of Campaign Discourse Three types of discourse: •Attack •Defence •Acclaim
  10. 10. Cultural differences • The Functional Theory does not fit Finland. • Isotalus & Aarnio (2006) • In Finland, it is more a question of agreement and disagreement. • Discourse is oriented to past, present and future.
  11. 11. Television performance • Television has emphasized the communication competence of politicians. • Nonverbal communication is central in television. • Image of a politician is important. • It has been predicted for 20 years that the role of television would diminish in politics. • There is hardly any evidence for that. • It is still a central medium in politics.
  12. 12. Mediatization of Politics • Describes the changes (process) of political communication. • Emphasizes the influence of the media in this process. • Strömbäck (2011) considers mediatization of politics as a multidimensional concept that includes distinct yet interrelated dimensions. • One of the dimensions focuses on political actors and the degree to which they are governed by media logic or political logic.
  13. 13. Personalization 1. It refers to a stronger focus on candidates or politicians instead of parties, institutions or issues. 2. It claims that it is not only individuals per se, but their personal non-political characteristics that assume greater relevance. • Describes the growing importance of the persons in politics • Adam & Maier (2010):
  14. 14. Personalization (Van Alest et al. 2012)
  15. 15. Privatization – An example of personal life
  16. 16. Interpersonal communication • This is an often forgotten dimension of communication competence. • However, it is important for politicians: • When dealing with other politicians (negotiating) • Connecting with the voters.
  17. 17. Social media is a challenge for politicians • In Finland: • First websites in the 1996 European parliamentary election. • All candidates had websites during the 2000 presidential election. • Facebook appeared in the 2008 local election. • The 2015 Parliamentary election was called the ‘hashtag-election’.
  18. 18. Facebook & Twitter • Importance is growing. • Appearance of new media: Instagram, Snapchat…. • Weak correlation observed with activity in social media and success in elections. • Political power? • Needs new skills. • Importance of interactivity.
  19. 19. Results on live-tweeting • Party leaders’ assistants or active members of parties tried to influence impressions of party leaders. • Impressions based on live-tweets changed a lot between party leaders.
  20. 20. Timo Soini – spiritless Alexander Stubb - favourite Paavo Arhinmäki - bully
  21. 21. Ong’s theories in Orality and Literacy • Primary orality • Print oriented phase • Secondary orality • Are we living in the new phase? • Digital interaction?
  22. 22. Needed communication competence of politicians Interpersonal communication skills
  23. 23. Thank you! www.isotalus.fi pekka.isotalus@uta.fi

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