Lessons From Strzok And Zuck

What’s your government testimony strategy?

If you haven’t thought through your own yet, here are some notes derived from Strzok and Zuckerberg’s performances.

Key tactics:

Manage your image.

Always have a confident response (not necessarily an answer).

Manage (and run) the clock.

Balance condescension and contempt.

Before you speak, calibrate to either punch back or hold back.

For further study / prep work, as viewers we can:

Identify the “teams.” Who (in the public) is rooting for who?

What are the key points? And do think in “points,” because people will be keeping score.

Connect the key potential points to each team, and consider if the strategy will be to point out the nuance in the details, or to reduce the details to black and white.

Final thoughts:

These are long, so you have to plan to survive.

If you can maintain your image, the odds of the people asking the questions doing something more newsworthy (aka: “crazy”) than anything you say or do are actually high. In the end, that is the real fodder for the following news cycle.

Strzok made sure some of his heated exchanges provided at least some of that fodder, and Zuckerberg made sure people asking the questions (like Bill Nelson and his chocolate scenario) did their part in showing their level of “understanding.”

Both of them came to play the game.

Think it through. Play wisely.

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