Great communication skills are essential for great leaders.
Leaders must communicate their vision in a way that inspires people, and be able to persuade others to take certain actions. They don’t just talk about an idea, they also appeal to people’s emotions and aspirations. To help you reach this level of communication, here are some speaking secrets of great leaders.
Speak to individuals
Whether you’re talking to somebody one-on-one, or speaking in front of a thousand people, communicate as though you are talking to an individual person. Great speakers can tailor their message so that each of those thousand people will feel that the speaker is talking to them as an individual. This will help you build rapport with members of the audience, which then helps to establish credibility and trust.
Don’t be ambiguous, putting out a message which is vague or confusing. There is no point to making a speech which does not have a specific point to it, or which people don’t understand. Make your presentation simple and concise, and don’t waste either your time or the audience’s. Cut out excess material, and the key points you want to make will stand out more clearly, and be more memorable for listeners. Make your words count.
Know your subject matter cold
If you don’t really understand your subject matter, that will show, at least to some members of your audience. At best, people will tune out, and at worst, this is a quick way to lose credibility. You don’t want to be known as a faker who doesn’t really know what he’s talking about, so make sure that you have expertise in your topic before speaking about it in public. Master the ins and outs of your speech, make sure your information is correct and always be ready to answer questions. People like when public speakers interact with their audience; this makes them seem so credible and genuine.
Read your audience
Great communicators have exceptional observation skills and awareness of the situation around them. They are able to read the attitudes and moods of a person or a group, sensing the dynamics going on around them. Not only can they sense how the audience is responding to their message, but they can also adapt their speech based on that audience response. This lets them tailor each presentation to be uniquely effective for a specific time, place, and group.
Tell a compelling story
Great leaders are able to get people to follow them, and the key to this is communicating a simple, compelling story that inspires people. Tell people what your vision is, and where your organization is going. Share your direction, your challenges, and your progress. Keep it simple, real, and imbue it with some emotion. Make it something that audience members can identify with, and give them a reason to want to see that vision come to fruition.
Use empathy, not ego
Leaders and speakers who focus on themselves, talking about their great accomplishments, can easily lose an audience. Instead, focus on the audience. Use your speech to show empathy and caring for others. When you care about people, they are more likely to care about you in return. When you show this in an authentic and believable way, it can create trust, respect, and connection.
Don’t be afraid to show your weaknesses
We all have weaknesses, no matter how powerful, confident or rich we are. There are things that make us vulnerable, and as a leader you must be willing to admit that you’re not invincible. Your audience will certainly appreciate your humane side, and some will even sympathize with you. The business world is one tough environment, yet it is important to make your subordinates follow you. The best way to do that is to show them that you’re a genuine individual, with great morals and ethics.
Companies should consider hiring event speakers to motivate and inspire employees. Not every entrepreneur is a great leader, especially since it’s not that easy to speak in public and make an audience listen. It’s pretty amazing how influential can an orator be; however, to help and motivate you and your employees, he has to be experienced, speak from the heart and offer solid, sensible advice.
This is the guest post by Jason Phillips and LondonSpeakerBureau.com!