Executive Speaking

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”.

The Speech Wiz says, "Here's what it takes to speak like an effective executive."

Don’t big companies prefer leaders that know how to “get things done”, “increase productivity and efficiency”, and “inspire greatness in their employees”?

Well, “Yes” they do. But guess what, these are all things that hard skills find extremely challenging to accomplish.

Why? Because they deeply rely on changing the mindsets and behaviors of people. There are no pills for this. No algorithms, forecasts or computer models either. The only method known to mankind for achieving these business aspirations is the effective practice of genuine, highly focused and clear communication.

Today, this role in business is filled by the executive speaker. The reality is, it is not being done effectively in far too many corners of the business world.

Why the sheer brilliance of using a deep conversation to create a high-value relationship is utterly priceless.

But, research has found that practicing the art of conversation is a sound business strategy. Even without the research, having deep conversations with clients, colleagues and audiences is a fundamentally sound behavior. After all, when you take a business and separate the processes and product from the enterprise what you have left are the people that work there. The same people that will spend endless hours pouring their souls into a product or service can hardly be bothered to explore and discover what matters most in their professional, public, and personal lives.