Leadership and public speaking

Is it necessary for a leader to be a good public speaker?

Public speakerThere shouldn't be any dilemma about the answer to the above question. Leader talks at team meetings or presents a company facing internal or external audience. And especially with the latter good public speaking skills can open doors, whereas poor ones will most probably close them. And leaders are not the only one.

Does there exist “a magic formula” for good public speaking? No, there is no magic to successful speech, in fact, everyone is unique and has different strengths that can be used. But nevertheless some guide lines can be offered if you would like to have a winning speech.

Basically, public speaking requires both, your ability to speak up and to associate with others. The latter meaning to listen well to the audience to be able to obtain a strong relationship and connection with them.

To give good public speech you should never underestimate preparation and practice. With it you can overcome your nervousness and therefore perform exceptionally well. You practice to be committed to the topic and focus your speech to engage audience.

Public-speakingWhen you speak, pay attention to the way you’re speaking and avoid pitfalls so that your nature can take its course. People sense your feelings you put into your speech. Speaking clearly and slowly are next two at the same time very simple but also extremely difficult ways to give an effective presentation. To be mastered, you need to govern your body language (see: Nonverbal – body language and Leadership).

When you're nervous, or if (when) you don't believe in what you're saying, the audience just feels it through your body posture: you give them constant, subtle clues about your inner state, your level of confidence, your insecurity. Even more intriguing is that based on the feedback of your posture (see: Feedback in Leadership) your body sends messages to your brain suggesting them how you “should feel”. While preparing and then when actually giving a public speech use positive thinking. That makes a huge difference to the success of your communication and helps you to feel (be) more confident. If possible breathe with diaphragm during public speaking - slowly, deeply, and calmly. Make eye contact with the audience as you tell the story, information or whatever you share. Even better if you include all of your senses and thusly also feel what is going on around you. I, personally, prefer to move. It helps me think on what and how to say and keeps me in the momentum as well as with the audience. And lastly, take your time to cherish this opportunity which is here only now. In a moment it will be gone forever.

Public-speaking audienceI almost always have the first and the last sentence prepared – and let the rest of it to flow. You can begin with an interesting statistic, a headline, or a fact that pertains to what you're talking about and resonates with your audience. A powerful opener is story telling. And remember, last sentence is what the audience will remember the longest of you and your speech. Make it exceptional.

Don't expect perfection. Keep in mind that people will never know what was forgotten to mention.

Easy? Born leaders know it by nature.


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