Etiquette and dating experts say Ron DeSantis can improve his personality.

Etiquette and dating experts say Ron DeSantis can improve his personality.

Governor Ron DeSantis: A Personal Touch Goes a Long Way

florida governor Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is a man of substance. He possesses an incredible depth of knowledge and expertise in various policy matters. His ability to delve into complex issues has earned him respect among those close to him. Megyn Kelly, who recently dined with the governor, attests to his extensive knowledge, saying, “He’s extremely knowledgeable about every single issue that I teed up to him. I mean, there was no issue he couldn’t go ten-deep.”

However, when it comes to connecting with voters on the campaign trail, DeSantis has been criticized for his perceived “lack of personality.” Critics claim that he often appears awkward and uninterested in engaging with people. These observations have led some to compare his charisma—or lack thereof—to that of his formidable opponent, Donald Trump, a trained TV personality who thrives in political theater.

But is personality the sole barometer of a candidate’s ability to lead? Etiquette experts argue that it is not. They believe that even if DeSantis is seen as a chronic etiquette violator, there is hope for improvement. As Julia Esteve Boyd, an etiquette expert who has worked with politicians and royalty, points out, public figures have responsibilities that may not always come naturally to them. However, these skills can be learned, practiced, and perfected.

“Etiquette really is a set of skills that you can choose to use when and where you’d like,” says Maggie Oldham, an etiquette instructor with over ten years of experience. “These things can all be taught, practiced, and perfected.”

So, what can Governor DeSantis do to bridge the gap between his policy expertise and his presentation on the campaign trail? Let’s delve into some expert advice.

Show Genuine Interest in Others

One common observation is that DeSantis often seems nervous in social interactions. Experts suggest that the key to calming nerves is for the speaker to shift their focus from themselves to the other person. Instead of anxiously worrying about how they will be perceived, the speaker should genuinely show interest in the other person.

“People are so concerned about how they’re going to come across,” says etiquette instructor Maggie Oldham. “When really, we can take all that pressure off ourselves and make ourselves more confident naturally by placing our focus on the other person.”

Esteve Boyd echoes this sentiment, emphasizing that focusing on the public’s interests rather than one’s own is always advantageous in dealing with people.

Find Common Ground

Blaine Anderson, a dating coach for men, draws parallels between social interactions in dating and running for public office. He suggests that to form a connection with the audience, DeSantis should talk about relatable topics and find common ground with them. For instance, when campaigning in Iowa, he could open by expressing his love for the state and sharing relevant anecdotes about his experiences there.

According to Anderson, this kind of approach fosters connection and relatability, creating a positive impression among the audience.

Polishing Table Manners

Critics have also scrutinized DeSantis’s eating habits, with sources claiming he once ate pudding with three fingers. While table manners may seem trivial, they are an integral part of social interactions. Oldham argues that the way a candidate handles themselves while eating can subliminally communicate how they will handle other affairs.

“If you cannot manage your own eating properly, respectfully, correctly, what kind of message is that conveying about how you’re going to run the country?” asks Oldham.

Esteve Boyd seconds this, highlighting how people form opinions based on how others behave, including their table manners. She suggests that while it is acceptable to snack during casual interactions or business meetings, it is important to be discreet and take smaller bites.

Avoid Arrogance

One liability consistently pointed out by former colleagues and staff members is DeSantis’s perceived arrogance. This arrogance is often manifested in forgetfulness, such as failing to say “thank you” to donors, not bothering to learn staffers’ names, or even neglecting to acknowledge fellow GOP colleagues.

Esteve Boyd emphasizes the need to curb this sense of self-importance when engaging with the public. While DeSantis may be the guest of honor at events, the true purpose is to connect with people on a personal level.

“Listen more,” suggests Esteve Boyd. “Let people speak, let people ask questions. It’s about the other people as opposed to all being about you, the biggest person in the room, because you’re already the biggest person in the room.”

Oldham echoes this sentiment, reminding DeSantis that as a candidate on the campaign trail, he is not the most important person in the room. The voters and donors hold that distinction.

By incorporating these tips and insights into his public interactions, Governor DeSantis can enhance his connection with voters. Remember, personality may be a valuable asset, but a personal touch can go a long way in winning hearts and minds.