Think about the skills that a successful executive must develop. One of the critical skills is public speaking. Are you clear on what that encompasses and why it’s important?
What is public speaking?
The first mistake is not recognizing how broad public speaking is and the outcomes.
Public speaking is any speaking you do when there are other people in hearing distance. If someone else can hear you – it’s public speaking.
Perhaps you thought it was only about standing at the front of a room of 30 people or on a stage before an audience of 3,000. That is clearly public and the most obvious version of public speaking. Don’t let that fool you about the other speaking that you perform – leading a staff meeting, participating in a management meeting, speaking with a customer, or holding a one-to-one conversation with a team member.
Why do executive leaders need to develop their public speaking skills?
Because you are judged by everything you say and do – sometimes unfairly. Once your message is conveyed you can’t take it back. It will be judged, repeated and examined.
Does that mean that you should keep your mouth shut and say nothing or as little as possible? No. When you are the leader, we expect to hear from you often and clearly. You need to refine your communication skills to listen, think and speak more effectively. Did you realise that listening and thinking are significant to your public speaking ability?
Who needs to hear from you?
As a rising executive or executive-hopeful you must communicate effectively with your peers, your superiors and colleagues across the industry. Don’t keep your genius a secret only your boss knows because you will need the support of the peers of your boss to be promoted.
Connect with industry colleagues. Imagine the influence on your boss and bosses’ peers when they hear positive comments about you from the industry.
Where does effective public speaking start?
With private speaking. What is that? The speaking to yourself. Your self talk and especially the questions you ask yourself.
How often do you prepare for a conversation or presentation by yourself. It starts with questions and answers. Then you might rehearse out loud. Review and improve your message to stay on track.
An effective public message starts with a clear and confident private message. Get your thinking onside before you speak in public.
How can you become a more effective public speaking executive?
Recognize that public speaking, presenting and communicating are skills that can be learned and must be learned.
Don’t try to wing it. Learn and develop the skills. Read books, watch Youtube videos, attend a webinar or course to learn the fundamentals and gain tips and ideas to become a better speaker. Then when you are serious and you want to cross the chasm to be an outstanding speaker, work with a public speaking coach.
Don’t be shy about hiring a coach. If you are a golfer, I bet you wouldn’t hesitate to arrange coaching sessions for your golf game.
A good coach will point out what you can see. They will review your back swing. Your speaking coach will offer you insights, tips and shortcuts to boost your speaking skills to a higher level than you imagined.
You know that you need to become a better public speaker to be considered for executive ranks. You know that you need to become even better every year to advance your position, influence and success as an executive leader.
When you are an executive leader or an executive-hopeful you need to be able to convey you message more effectively. That means you speak to other people.
If you want to become a successful leader, develop your public speaking skills.
If you wonder how I might help you, feel free to arrange a 20-minute no-charge coaching session. Send me a message and I’ll invite you to talk.
George Torok is the Speech Coach for Executives
Public speaking skills for executives