Many of us go through life believing that leadership is the privilege of the charismatic few ‘born leaders’.
I’ll let you into a little secret – one which many ‘born leaders’ stumble upon early in their careers – much of successful leadership is about excellent communication. Excellent communication is the skill of knowing what you need to say, and knowing how to say it so that you get your message across to your target audience in a way that engages them. Like all skills, communication can be practiced, polished and perfected.
What you say
Keep it waffle-free, jargon-free, and pick three points you want to get across (we won’t remember any more than that). No matter what subject you are going to talk about, when you ‘know your stuff’ you are automatically more comfortable, passionate and engaging when speaking about it.
How you say it
Excellent communication is a mixture of words, music and dance. The words are what you say; the music is how you say it; the dance is the supporting body language. These three elements must stack up to support your message.
Bringing it all together
Make the most of every opportunity to speak in front of an audience, big or small – staff meetings, parent/teacher meetings, professional conferences. The more you practice, the better you will become.
Speak to your HR or Training Department about organizing a presentation skills course that addresses all of these aspects and will give you constructive feedback on your performance and/or check online for your local Toastmasters Club where you can practice your communication and leadership skills in a supportive, fun environment for about the cost of an evening class.
Blog courtesy Hester Casey of Bray Toastmasters