The Speech Wiz asks, "Do you have humility agility?"

One of the most essential habits for a speaker to exhibit is the act of humility. With humility, a speaker’s content reaches levels of effectiveness audiences will appreciate and admire. Without humility, a speaker’s content may sound empty and self-serving leaving an audience to feel exploited but not served.

Every speaker is a servant speaker. To not comprehend this simple characterization is to miss the essence of why you speak and why you have an audience. The passion to speak is driven by the axiom, “I speak because I have something to say that needs to be heard by someone other than me.” The validation for speaking is, “I speak because what I have to say will be said to the benefit of those who hear me speak.”

With these two guidelines in place, you must learn how to speak with humility in order for your message to reach and serve your audience. Building your content around three elements can help you become a speaker with effective and sincere humility agility.The three elements are:

  1. Falling Down

  2. Lifting Up

  3. Learning From

Let’s look further into how these three elements can create humility agility when you speak.

The Speech Wiz says, “The heart of leadership is 99.9999% communication.”

There is a demand these days for leaders to become better communicators. From CEOs to heads of state, people want their leaders to be better at communication ideas, initiatives and policies. All of this comes on the heels of a generation severely lacking in many of the basic communication skills. Leaders cannot afford the luxury of dismissing solid communication skills as a necessary personal attribute. Why?

Because the heart of leadership is 99.9999% communication. Leaders are charged with being the trustworthy voice and face of their enterprise. Whether you are the CEO of a fortune 500 or the leader of a non-profit, your ability to communicate effectively is the most critical skillset in your leadership toolbox.

Leaders have three basic duties they perform in their role through communication, each of which can have an enormous impact on those they lead. 

These three duties are:

  1. Invitation

  2. Demonstration and

  3.  Inspiration

If you’re a leader or aspire to become one, you’ll want to read on.

The Speech Wiz introduces “The ABC' of Executive Speaking”: Clarity

Thomas Leonard, one of the founding leaders of the executive coaching industry said, “Clarity affords focus.” For speaking executives this is doubly true. Clarity brings greater focus to what the speaker will say and a greater understanding by the audience of the content that it hears.

But Clarity is a slippery eel for many speakers. Because many executive speakers are also subject matter experts, it is difficult for them to parse out the “noise” that occasionally interferes with the content they are presenting. Achieving Clarity as a speakers means your content must be:

  • Coherent

  • Intelligent and

  • Transparent.

Let’s take a look at each of these qualities.

The Speech Wiz introduces “The ABC's of Executive Speaking”: Brevity

My dad was a great speaker and successful executive. When I would listen to him speak, I remember being impressed by how he would say what he needed to, make his point and leave the impression he desired on his audience all without saying a lot or taking too much time to say it. I never saw him lose an audience or a single listener.My dad would counsel me about speaking with a favorite adage, “The brain will absorb what the rear end will tolerate.”Shakespeare wrote that “Brevity is the sole if wit.” In executive speaking, Brevity is a sole of retention.When it comes to executive speaking, Brevity is an essential skill to practice. To exhibit Brevity in executive speaking, you should have a command of the skills of being:

  • Concise

  • Succinct

  • Economical

  • Compact

Let’s explore each of these skills.

The Speech Wiz introduces “The ABC' of Executive Speaking”: Authenticity

In my last post, I introduced you to the “ABC’s of Executive Speaking” framework. This post will explore the “A” of the ABC’s – Authenticity.

With every passing day, the world of the executive speaker continues to evolve. This evolution presents challenges that many executive speakers have never previously addressed. From the virtual meeting, to the webinar, to the teleseminar, to the promotional video – all of these opportunities test the ability of an executive speaker to create, organize and deliver memorable and effective content that informs, influences and energizes every audience.

Some speakers meet these challenges by choosing to emulate the speaking techniques of other, notable speakers without first analyzing their own style and effectiveness. Executive speaking is hard enough without out adding a layer of imitation on your speaking style that is after all borrowed at best and seldomly done seamlessly.

What you need to be an effective executive speaker is Authenticity.

The Speech Wiz introduces “The ABC's of Executive Speaking”

In my practice, The Speech Wiz, I coach executives on how they can become high level speakers and leaders. Many of my clients get to speak in a variety of settings from boardrooms to conferences, webinars to meetings, and more. Over the years, I have learned from my clients that the type of speaking they do is highly driven, temporal, and critical to the success of their businesses, organizations and careers. I have also learned that what they do is not classic public speaking but a leadership style that relies heavily on their ability to convey authenticity, practice brevity and demonstrate the highest level of clarity regarding the content and purpose of their speaking.

This knowledge led me to formulate a framework for executive speakers I call “The ABC’s of Executive Speaking”.