Speaking Resources for Leaders
Leaders speak – or they should speak – to make a difference, promote a vision, and change the way people think and feel and act.
If you are a leader or if you want to position yourself as a leader, you have to look and sound like a leader every time you speak. You have to set yourself apart from all the others, putting yourself on the line.
1. Establish your authority by the way you speak. Leaders aren’t shy. They’re willing to assert themselves, to take center stage and to make the best case for what they know and want. They know how to gain an audience’s attention, respect, and cooperation.
2. Speak to influence and inspire. It’s a leader’s job to shape the way people think and feel and act. Your primary goal is not to present information – leave that to others. Focus on communicating your vision and on making other people believe in what you hold dear.
In the pages that follow you’ll find resources to get you started or to move you to the next level of speaking mastery.
How Leaders Speak
Leaders speak as an extension and an expression of their leadership. They speak primarily to influence, to shape the way people feel and think.
Executive speeches are – or should be – unique to the person giving the speech, the occasion, the audience, and the intention. But every speech – every effective executive speech, at least – can be strengthened if you follow these guidelines.
Speak Like Obama
You may not be able to speak like Obama. You may not even want to speak like Obama. But you can learn from the way he speaks in order to influence and inspire your audiences.
The speeches you give as a leader should reflect and promote your leadership style and objectives.
Projecting a Commanding Presence
Developing the sort of presence that commands attention isn’t something you can learn from a workshop or self-help book. It’s more a way of being than anything you do, although the way you act does enhance it.
7 Principles of Influence
Influence is the art of winning people’s cooperation when you do not have, or do not want to use, the authority to make them do what you want them to do.
How to Build Rapport with Any Audience
When you establish rapport with your audience, they become your partners in a dialog. They’ll want you to succeed.
How to Prepare a Presentation
As you begin the preparation for your presentation, do not turn on PowerPoint and start creating slides. Sit down with a pad and pencil and answer these four questions
How to Give a Speech
You’ve already prepared and rehearsed your presentation. Here’s what you can do to give a speech you can be proud of.
How to Introduce a Speaker
In formal gatherings or larger meetings it’s often necessary – and helpful – to introduce the main speaker. With some thought and preparation you will make the event more successful, and you will establish your professionalism.
How to Plan a Speech
Good planning is key to building an effective speech.
How to Propose a Toast
There are occasions when you want to say a few words to commemorate a person or event, but you don’t want to give a speech.
How to Remember Names
One of the best ways to make a favorable first impression – and to get ahead socially or in business – is to remember people’s names. You can improve your ability to remember names if you follow these four steps.
The Listening Leader
Today’s leaders don’t have all the answers. (How can they?) But they know how to find the answers and, more importantly, they know how to help others find the answers. Leaders today are listeners. They listen up, down, and all around their organization.
When Not to Use PowerPoint
There are times – especially if you’re a leader – when using PowerPoint in a speech makes little sense and may even be counterproductive.
Hallmarks of an Effective Presentation
An effective presentation is like an animated conversation. It’s clear, honest and direct. It seeks to accomplish one goal. And it’s filled with lively detail.
Here’s another page with links to even more tips and strategies that technical presenters — and anyone else, for that matter — can use to increase their effectiveness. (Links will take you to pages about “How to Resolve Conflict,” “The 7 Principles of Influence,” “How to Remember Names,” “Strategic Listening,” “People Skills Pay the Bills,” and many more.
Here’s still another page with links to even more tips and strategies that every type of presenter — leaders, aspiring leaders, happy-that-I’m-not-a-leader people, technical experts — can use to become more confident and commanding speakers.