The ability to speak well in public – whether giving a sales pitch to a customer, presenting at a Board Meeting, or speaking to a large group of employees – is an essential leadership skill.
- Public speaking is fundamental for effective executive communication as a way to lead a group or team into taking some desired action.
- For better or worse, most leaders are evaluated by their ability to speak in public.
To be a strong public speaker requires practice and keeping in mind some simple Do’s and Don’ts.
- Focus on the End Result: As a leader, the purpose of public speaking is to inform, teach or remind your audience to do something that will help them do their jobs better and drive your company to success. Eloquent speeches, no matter how insightful or entertaining, are useless unless they lead to changed thoughts and changed actions. As such, the focal point of any speech needs to be on the end result: what do I want my audience to do? And a call to action needs to be the last point in any speech or presentation.
As managers, we need to encourage each of our employees to keep us informed about what is really going on in our companies, both the good and the bad. We need to be kept in the loop about the larger issues, possible challenges, and problems that our employees are facing.
This upward communication does not happen enough for several reasons.
First, most of our employees just assume that we know about everything happening in our companies. Continue reading
I have previously written about the fundamentals of communication: The Three Keys of Communication. The focus of that blog was about how we can better communicate with our teams and others by:
- Keeping the message simple
- Repeating repeating repeating the message
- Ensuring that our audience clarifies and confirms our message.
But, these three keys are often not sufficient. When giving specific directions or instructions, we need to ensure that the people with whom we are communicating write our message or request down on a piece of paper or make a note on a phone or computer. Continue reading
Driving continuous improvement throughout our organizations is fundamental to short and long-term business success.
Continuous improvement requires daily improvement in everything that we (and our teams) do…even when we are too busy!
- Are we better today than we were yesterday?
- Will we be better tomorrow than we are today?
A fundamental task of a leader is to train and develop his or her team.
This often involves coaching and teaching the team on the strategic, operational and leadership skills that are required for them to reach the next level.
Unfortunately, many leaders spend a lot of time teaching their team only to have it wasted as the team turns off.
“This is nothing new. I already knew that.”
“Why is he lecturing us again? Does he think that we are stupid and don’t already know this?
To do our best in business, we need to be as smart as we can be.
Alas, I do not have any tremendous insight or magic elixir to make myself or anyone else be smarter. Sorry.
What I do have are several suggestions on how we can take fullest advantage of the intellectual capacities that we do have.
- Be Healthy and in Good Physical Shape: Being sick, out of shape or dealing with chronic pain makes it more difficult to be smart. We do not have a clear head and are often focused on what is ailing us.