Monday, April 26, 2010

A Networking Lesson from the General Election Campaign

As I write this we have 10 days to go until the UK General Election. Until April 15th the Public Opinion Polls were predicting the following share of votes:
Conservative 36%
Labour 31%
Liberal Democrat 20%
Other 13%
The conservatives were in the lead and two thirds of the votes were predicted to be shared between them and Labour. The Liberal Democrats trailed in third with 20%.

Three days later the Liberal Democrat share had increased dramatically and they had moved into second place. Their support remains at this level according to the latest 'poll of polls':
Conservative 35%
Liberal Democrat 29%
Labour 28%
Other 8%

So what happened?

On the evening of April 15th we saw the first ever live TV debate between the main party leaders during a General Election Campaign. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, was generally acknowledged to have won the debate against his  Conservative and Labour rivals, David Cameron and Nick Clegg. 

If he had not taken part he would not have won and that is the networking lesson to learn.

Most networking groups give their members the opportunity to share their expertise and raise their profile by speaking at events. I have, however, seen people refuse opportunities to speak because they feel they are not ready or the circumstances are not quite right. 

If you don't feel ready then prepare a few options and the next time you get the opportunity take the plunge and volunteer to speak. Your audience will be on your side and it's a great way of helping people understand when and how to advocate you!

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke

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