Public Speakers Need To Learn The Language Of Leadership

by drjim on August 9, 2011

In Order To Lead, You Need To Say The Right Words

In Order To Lead, You Need To Say The Right Words

Why do you give speeches? I suspect that like most of us, the reasons vary; however, there is probably a common thread running through most of them – you want to lead your audience to take some form of action. In order to convince our audiences to follow us, we need to use words that will show them that we are leaders. Do you know how to do this?

Back To High School English Class

I’m very sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but your high-school English teacher was right – all the stuff that you learned in that class was important. One of the most important things that leaders do is that they don’t make up new words. We hear made-up words all the time: dialoging, downsizing, right-sizing, etc. String too many of these made-up words together and your audience will stop seeing you as a leader and will start to see you as just being another talking head.

Audiences judge a speaker very quickly and in doing so they make a decision about spending their time listening to them. Speakers who are leaders realize this and take the time to choose their words very carefully.

This means that such silly things as grammar are taken very carefully by speakers who want to be seen as leaders. Every time you say a sentence that contains a grammatical mistake, your audience will detect it and will quickly stop focusing on what you are saying and will instead focus on how you are saying it. Leaders understand this and make sure that their words are grammatically correct so that their full impact can be felt by the audience.

Speak Like Real Leaders Do

Leaders get called on to give speeches about difficult topics. This is a challenge that they are good at. One of the reasons that they are so good at it is because they know how to deliver bad news.

You can’t change the news – bad is bad. However, leaders understand that how you go about delivering bad news can be changed. You’ll always have to share the bad news with your audience, but leaders take the time to find a positive way to present the bad news. This goes under a number of different terms such as “the silver lining in a cloud”, etc. What leaders realize is that after the bad news has been presented, the audience needs to go on and they need to have the motivation to do so.

Finally, speakers who want to be leaders know that in the end a leader is judged by being seen as telling the truth. We’ve all encountered too many speakers who twisted the truth in different ways and left us feeling used and confused when they were done. If somebody wants to be accepted as a leader, then they need to convince us that they will always be telling us the truth. Only then can a speaker move into the ranks of leadership.

What All Of This Means For You

If you want to be seen as a leader by your audience, then you need to learn how to talk like one. In today’s easy going society where slang and casual conversation can take over all of our conversations, leaders know that they need to carefully craft the words that they use in their speeches.

What you learned in high-school English class really counts. Things that you may not think of such as not using slang and ensuring that your grammar is correct are actually quite important. Learning how other leaders speak can also help: negatives can be presented in a positive light and speaking honestly will go a long way in showing that you are a leader.

We all want to be leaders, it’s just that we don’t know how to make this happen. It turns out that it is much simpler than we might believe: it is our words that show our audience that we’re a leader. Take the time to make sure that your words are correct and you’ll be well on your way to achieving leadership status.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: What’s the best way to double check the words that you’re going to use in a speech for correctness?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As speakers, you’d hope that we’d always be looking for ways to boost our speaking skills

. However, it turns out that all too often this is not the case. The can be many reasons, but the end result is the same: we reach a given level in our speaking and then we just “hold” there. Not getting any worse, but at the same time not getting any better. Let’s take a look at what causes this and see how we can keep moving forward.

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