For any leader, public speaking is about the art of inspiration. The higher you climb up the career ladder the greater your ability to move and inspire groups of people needs to be.
Yet too many visionaries of business, government, and technology fail to embody THE key leadership skill: selling their vision while moving an audience to maximum effect when they speak.
Leaders do not deliver Information
Many leaders are competent speakers. They possess the ability to stand in front of an audience and deliver a speech without drowning an audience in ums and ah’s. They may have been promoted through the ranks renowned for their ability to deliver an effective presentation. But, the presentations delivered in the junior roles change when a leader steps into a senior position.
In the junior roles it is expected you will deliver information rich presentations that exhibit your skill on the subject matter. However, in the more senior roles you need to inspire your audiences to see and follow your vision.
Your job, as a leader, is to excite your audience. Using the power of language and stories to illuminate the picture for your audience you can inspire your audience far more effectively than if you provide them a “data dump”.
Leaders leverage Theatre
In great theatre an audience connects with the lead character of a musical. They relate to the energy and emotion the character feels on stage. It takes a skilled actor to take the script and bring it to life so the audience can connect with the character. Any actor can recite a script – only the best actors can take the audience on an emotional journey!
In delivering an inspiring speech you need to do the same. It is your responsibility to bring the speech to life. Your ability to deliver the speech with the appropriate energy and emotion will determine its success. For your presentations to inspire your audience you need to leverage the skills of the theatre and bring your speech to life.
A Forceful Personality is not required
Some leaders mistakenly believe that simply having a forceful personality will allow them to motivate an audience. Wrong! A forceful personality does not inspire an audience. Often it achieves the complete opposite. You cannot force people to follow your vision if they do not believe in it. For your audience to believe in the message they need to connect with you and they need to connect with what you are saying. Neither can happen if you simply try to deliver your speech forcefully.
A leader needs to be able to influence and inspire to succeed. And, like any skill, the ability to inspire groups of people can be learnt. Utilising the three points above any leader can start to better influence and inspire those around them.