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December 11, 2014

Hone Your Leadership Skills: Become a Compelling Speaker

Every great leader should master the art of public speaking. As a business owner, CEO or entrepreneur, you can’t run a company if you don’t have what it takes to keep your audience engaged. Sound communication skills, a rich, fluent vocabulary and lots of determination are all essential traits leaders should possess. The business environment is now more challenging than ever before — only the best of the best have what it takes to climb up the ladder. Here are some tips to help you hone your speaking abilities and become a competent leader.

Make your speech personal

Leaders should be capable of having organizational conversations. They should engage in a dialog not in a monologue. Although speaking in front of an audience is about presenting yourself and your business, it’s always a good idea to welcome questions. Interact with your audience on a deeper level; listen to their demands and expectations, and find a way to empathize with them. The more engaging and personal a conversation gets, the most efficient it becomes.

There’s a lot of truth in the following proverb – people are not really interested in how much information you know, they’re interested in how much you actually care. If you can’t find a way to develop a meaningful relationship with your audience, you won’t have time to relate to them. Eventually, they lose interest.

Be specific

It’s always better to be specific than be ambiguous. As a leader, you must communicate with as much clarity as possible. Keep things simple and stick to facts that are concise and simple to understand. You don’t want to confuse your audience by sharing complicated information. Cut to the chase by highlighting your best qualities. Allow your audience to know you; share personal facts from your life, make a joke, reveal a good story. Skilled leaders shouldn’t be afraid to showcase a more vulnerable side of their personality. In fact, our vulnerabilities make us human, and your audience will certainly emphasize with you.

Be open-minded

Many business leaders are terrible bosses. They’re in command so they like to instill respect through fear. That’s not a very smart way of running a company. You can’t have a successful business if your people are terrified to speak their mind. Issues will arise and, since nobody will have the courage to say anything, your company will have a lot to endure.

An open-minded attitude builds connections. Speak in front of an audience from the bottom of your heart. Be compelling by sharing valuable information, use your body language to connect and control the tone of your voice. You don’t want employees to fear you, you want them to respect you.

Be a good listener

A good leader should also be a good listener. If you’re speaking in front of an audience (employees, investors, marketers, etc.), it might be a good idea to welcome questions. Allow people to make comments, welcome constructive criticism and listen carefully to whatever they have to say. Thus, you’ll know what improvements to make. Sound leadership skills take time to shape. Today’s most successful business people are well-aware of the power social media has on their businesses.

If you want to get your company out there, you have to be compelling. Hire speakers to teach you everything there is to know about this challenging art, and you have good chance of engaging an audience. Not every CEO or entrepreneur can give a good speech and connect to their people; some are not even interested in relating to their staff, others are too shy or too proud to let their guard down. Regardless, the key to success in business is directly linked to employees. You may be in charge, but you depend on people to help you company thrive.

Hone your leadership skills by practicing your speaking abilities. Hold a presentation in front of the mirror or record your voice to hear how you sound. Perfect your style, find ways to connect on a deeper level and don’t be afraid to let your guard down. Competent leaders are well aware that the best way to relate to people is through meaningful stories. Share something your employees can relate to and you’ll become the best leader.


Jason Phillips is a business writer and blogger. He has written several high-quality articles. He has written for the site, which is world’s leading keynote speaker and advisory network.