Being a great communicator is right at the top of the leader’s list of roles. Some historic past masters include Steve Jobs, JFK, and of course, the great Winston Churchill. They had very different styles, but one thing they had in common was their appreciation for the importance of their role as communicator and their willingness to spend the necessary time required in thought and preparation for speaking occasions. Jobs’ preparation is legendary, and there are some excellent books, articles, and videos on his presentation methods.
Food for Thought ~
Leaders need to understand that every time they speak to constituents, from employees to customers to the general public – all of their myriad audiences, whether formally or informally, it is their responsibility to have a meaningful message to convey. Here’s an abbreviated version of one of my methods for coaching leaders on developing their message. To begin: think in two directions. First, think Outside – In. Ask yourself what’s going on in your organization, community, industry, the world, that needs to be acknowledged in your comments? What needs to be addressed or illuminated? Second, think Inside – Out. What’s in your heart or on your mind that you need to say to this audience at this point in time? What do they need to hear from you? Would it be important to articulate the organization’s values, mission, or vision? Third, integrate the themes you have identified. Always consider timing and context. Speak simply, from a place of personal authenticity, with clear and concise language. Communicating effectively is one of the greatest opportunities you have to powerfully demonstrate your role as a leader.
“Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style.”
Matthew Arnold, English Poet and Essayist
Question for the day ~
Effective public speaking = having something to say and saying it clearly. Have you taken the time to develop your public speaking skills? How might you improve your effectiveness as a communicator?
In Closing ~
If public speaking is not one of your strengths, please get some assistance. No leader can afford to be less than successful in this crucial role.