10 Killer Speaking Tips for CEOs, leaders and rainmakers

10 Killer Speaking Tips for CEOs, leaders and rainmakers.

I have worked with many top level companies over the years and the most amazing thing I take away from every speaking event, is how little ability the CEO, General Manager or President has to engage, inspire and communicate with their audience.

The problem isn’t them, but the solution is in what they do about it.

Remember that communication is a two way process.

Not just what you say, but also what they recieve.

Here are 10 killer speaking tips for leaders who want to make their impact and take their troops to the next level.

1) Consider the background to your event.
What has happened recently?
What have you managed to achieve since last speaking?
What do your audience most want to hear?

2) Choose your material.
There is already a huge wealth of resources from every single speaker ever. These can be quotations from presidents, soliloquies from Hamlet or famous sporting anecdotes. When used appropriately, they can raise your own performance to a higher level. When fumbled, they can make you look like a 6th form student. Keep it simple and don’t worry about explaining too much. Audiences will instinctively fill in the gaps.

3) Be warm, not funny.
Humour is a very dangerous tool to use. When delivered at the hands of an expert, the audience will treat the comic with due respect. Comedians have all ‘died’ on many occasions. Most give up their careers because it’s too tough. Those who survive have scars to prove their worth. Don’t go there. Be warm, smile and open. You’ll have the same end result without the risks.

4) Have a nice intro
Most CEO’s just expect to be introduced with respect and the title on their office door. Most of your staff already know that. Knowing the power of third party recommendations, you can charm an audience with a powerful introduction from the MC, your VP or even a video.
The message can vary, but keep it short and relevant. Your rags to riches story is great, your new sports car isn’t and the underlying thought should be ‘despite the fact that I earn more, and you answer to me – I am essentially the same as you and I know what you are going through’.

5) Less is more
When you are a CEO, your audiences will listen to you because they have to rather than they want to. Never forget that. If your speech starts sounding like a party political broadcast, they will still look at you, but their thoughts will already have left the building. Keep things punchy, relevant and quotable.

6) Use visuals
Consider this. A third of your audience is auditory, a third visual and a third kinesthetic. This means that they predominately learn and process information best as either sounds, pictures or feelings. If you just talk to them, the auditories will love it, but the rest wont absorb anything. Use relevant simple PowerPoint slides and even videos. For the kinesthetics? Start by asking them how they are feeling today.

7) Practice
We know that you are busy and that someone else probably wrote the speech and made all the slides for you. There is nothing wrong with that.
Most actors didn’t write the screen play, nor did most pop stars arrange the lyrics and music – but they deliver the material very well. Get to know your speech and highlight the exclaimation points on a printed copy of the text.

8) Gauge the energy levels
CEO’s speeches make people zone out. It’s a fact. They know that the big boss has his own agenda and they have to pay attention because he pays the wages but when you consider the 80-20 rule, only 20% of your workforce are really engaged enough to need to know where your plans are leading them. When you become used to working with an audience, you also become adept at ‘feeling’ the energy levels. marry your speech to ride these currents, or if not sure what I mean, get them to clap often.

9) Relate everything to their paradigm
People go to work for themselves, their families, their future and their managers. Not a big building with a logo and a place on the stock exchange. Once you’ve talked about your mission, vision and goals, tell them how it affects their lives. It’s not just about earning a wage, it’s about telling your team what’s in it for them too.

10) Get a coach or even better, get a speaker
You run companies. That’s why you get the big bucks. Maybe you are also blessed with a chiseled chin, broad shoulders and piercing blue eyes. If perhaps, you aren’t Robert Redford or Angelina Jolie, you may have to learn to do this better. Hire a voice coach, a performance coach or a script writer. They do speeches for a living. Pay the money to learn what they know. If you don’t have time, just hire a motivational speaker to deliver your message within theirs too.

You’ll get the desired impact, your audience will love it and you can be warm, gauge the energy levels and watch your organization’s productivity rising whilst you work on the next agenda for the board.

If you have Skype, I can help you.

If not, just keep reading my posts.
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