speaking

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 asks, "Where are you in the audacious and tenacious stories you tell when you speak?"

One of the great joys of speaking may be found in that moment when something you say inspires or motivates your audience. There are two ways you can make this happen.

The first is through sharing deeply profound insights that clear the cobwebs from your audience’s mind, allowing them to see clearly through to an outcome you envision.

The second is through the telling of inspiring and motivating stories.

If you take option number 2, you should tell stories of audacity to inspire and tenacity to motivate. When you tell these stories, they will have greater impact on your listeners if they have you as the hero.

The Speech Wiz asks, “Do you know what the 3 stories are that every executive must be able to tell?”

Once upon a time there was an idea that struck a very eager entrepreneur as the basis for the creation of an amazing enterprise. As time passed, this visionary’s dream began to generate amazing products and services that not only changed the world, but the way the people who used these great products and services began to see themselves. One user of this company’s fantastic, revolutionary, and cutting-edge technology transformed itself overnight into a dynamic, global leader in people to people commercial exchange and a paragon of social action and responsibility.

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.

The Speech Wiz asks, "What are you really saying when you offer an apology for your work?"

I believe most people offer an apology from a sincere heart. In fact, I have operated on this principle most of my life. But lately, I have been subjected to a string of heartless apologies from insincere companies and professionals that makes me question the value and sincerity of a 21st century apology.