The Importance Of Public Speaking In Leadership

Public speaking is one of my favorite activities at work, whether it is selling a product or negotiating a contract. It allows me to gather information, to win over an audience and increase my leadership influence. It is the ability to be eloquent and to persuade which gives me an edge over the competition.

Public speaking skills are useful on a daily basis. They can be learnt, they are required in different social situations, from professionals to students.

However, public speaking requires a certain level of confidence, preparation, technique, voice control, clear ideas, arguments, objectives, good knowledge of the audience.

It also generates severe anxiety in most people. And, keeping your composure in stressful situations will demonstrate your leadership skills.

Wondering how to deliver your best speech and overcome fear of public speaking?

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The importance of public speaking

Avoiding public speaking can be detrimental to your career, to your relationships and to your personal growth. This skill is called upon for celebratory events, meetings.

Public speaking enables you to transform people, influence some people, persuade others, help people work toward a personal or common goal, inspire emotions and provide value, convey a vision, drive change and positive actions, introduce new information, innovative ideas to a crowd.

It allows you to gain trust, to solidify your credibility, to become more confident, to find your voice, to address difficult conversations and find solutions.

Coping with the fear of public speaking

Public speaking can make some people anxious because the speaker is at the complete mercy of the audience. The good news is that fears are learnt behavior and can be unlearned. To get rid of your debilitating fear:

  • Keep in mind that the audience is generally supportive, even though they can make or break you.
  • Change your perspective and think of your speech as a conversation. To help you do so, practice in front of family and friends.
  • Start your speech with questions to get your audience more engaged.
  • Stay present, stop over-analyzing the situations and stop trying to be perfect.
  • Visualize a positive outcome.
  • Avoid trying to completely remove your anxiety. Instead, channel it otherwise, distract yourself from these emotions by exercising or listening to music.

Honing your public speaking skills

When speaking publicly you want to be understood, to guide them to your ideas. Public speaking doesn’t need to be your full-time job to be useful. To hone your public speaking skills:

  • Understand your audience. Your audience comes from different backgrounds, have diverse interests and needs. To forejudge their responses to your speech, analyze your audience, their culture, their current situation. Then, identify the points that you need to emphasize and those you need to remove.
  • Decide and format your content. It is important to know what you will be talking about. Furthermore, the format of your content will depend on the event.
    • Detail your speech, arrange your arguments in order of importance and organize your content to increase retention.
    • Employ different tools for your presentation like PowerPoint.
    • Give your audience practical advice.
    • Keep it simple, use short sentences, get to the point.
    • Introduction and conclusion are key and have to be most prepared.
  • Ensure that you passionate about the topic beforehand. Your passion will motivate the audience.
  • Determine your objective. Understand the need you have to impact your audience, the need to speak at this event and the decision to explore this specific topic.
  • Determine your communication style and rhetoric. It is important to mind your verbal and nonverbal delivery, to pay attention to your delivery, your tone and your voice more than you do to the content of your speech.
    • Captivate the audience and interact with them within the 10 first seconds.
    • Use action verbs, personal pronouns, present tense, tangible language, proper grammar, appropriate logic and conventional language. Adapt your message and language to your audience.
    • Use your own words to convey your personality and keep the audience engaged.
    • Learn to tell stories, to use relatable examples, your personal experiences and interests. This is why it is important to know your audience.
    • Ask provocative questions, embody the story and act out the anecdotes.
  • Before you start speaking, take a moment, breathe, master your fear, control yourself and your thoughts.
  • Keep your energy up from beginning to end.
  • Stand up straight, shoulders backward and arms open. Look at people in the eye and smile to put people at ease.
  • Walk around on stage before the speech to get an idea of the space available. This will allow you to feel at home on stage or in public and to move your body at will.
  • Act natural. There is nothing more off-putting and distracting than someone acting theatrical.
  • Look the part but don’t let your clothes distract your audience from the message.
  • Keep in mind that your audience wants to see you win. Stay focused: don’t be distracted by the audience, by naysayers and hecklers.
  • Treat your speech like an opportunity to have a conversation with friends.
  • Incorporate humor in your set if you are brave enough. Humor is risky but self-deprecating humor is always the best option.
  • Observe your competition, listen to other speakers and take notes. 
  • Rehearse your speech relentlessly and don’t let it show. Rehearsing will help you deliver your speech with confidence, avoid searching for words, avoid skipping important points. Practice will also make you a leader in your field and increase your credibility.
  • Solidify your credibility. There is nothing
    • Become an expert on the subject, create your own content and connect the dots properly.
    • Be transparent, trustworthy, fair and respectful. Conduct yourself morally.
    • Care for your audience and share valid information that will progress them
    • Agree to disagree with your audience, respect their values, avoid attacking them and don’t make them feel stupid.
    • Stay away from hate speech, offensive, untruthful, distorted and slanderish speech
  • Keep sharpening your public speaking skills and take some classes.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

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Quote Of The Week #46

There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying. — Francis Bacon.png

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Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

In Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy suggest that we define a plan for our lives. They introduce us to the concept of Life Planning and show us how to implement the process.

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What is a Life Plan?

According to Hyatt and Harkavy, “A Life Plan is a short written document, usually five to fifteen pages long“. The Life Plan is personal, describes your priorities, the steps to reach your goals and the legacy you want to leave.

It is a life long process, that can continually be adjusted and improved. A Life Plan doesn’t shield you from life challenges and failures. Instead, it will help you create intention for your life.

It is common to have a career plan but no Life Plan. The Life Plan enables you to:

  • Set priorities and stick to them.
  • Stop sacrificing yourself, to stop trading health and time for work, career advancement, accolades or money.
  • Filter out opportunities. As you get older and as you get experiences, opportunity coming your way will multiply. It is therefore important to know where your priorities lie and what opportunity to choose.
  • Avoid distractions, confront and deal with reality.
  • Avoid the feeling of being stuck and allow you to keep your eyes on the future.
  • Avoid regrets and increase your level of control.

The drift and its consequences

Most people drift away from their dreams because:

  • They are unaware that their ideas and assumptions are inaccurate and harmful.
  • There is a discrepancy between their beliefs and reality.
  • They are distracted, are spread too thin or too busy to focus on their lives and to start prioritizing.
  • They don’t understand that there is hope, that they can change and that they have more control over their lives than they think.

When you drift away from your dreams and when you don’t have a Life Plan, you tend to:

  • Lack meaning and purpose.
  • Waste your time and other valuable resources on meaningless tasks.
  • Lose opportunities and their sense of urgency. People who drift away procrastinate and are unable to discern a good opportunity from a bad.
  • Experience trouble more intensely because they are unprepared.
  • Take a passive approach to life, shift blame and live in regrets.

Designing and implementing your Life Plan

To design your Life Plan, it is necessary to outline your legacy, to set your priorities, get clarity on your objectives and to reserve one day to build your Life Plan.

Outlining your legacy

To design your Life Plan, keep in mind that everybody leaves a legacy, face your mortality and begin with the end in mind. It is critical to write your Life Plan like you are writing your eulogy, to imagine how you want others to remember you and to stay committed to the process.

Setting your priorities

Getting more clarity on your objectives will definitely increase your commitment. To do so, you must steer clear from external expectations and do what is right for you.

Getting clarity on objectives

  • Identify your purpose.
  • Project yourself into the future, picture yourself in it and imagine all the different positive outcomes. To make your vision much more compelling, write down in the present tense what you hear, feel, see, smell and taste.
  • Find and apply a quote that inspires you.
  • Make an honest assessment of your current progress.
  • Commit to specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bond goals.

Devote one day to your Life Plan

Hyatt & Harkavy recommend that you schedule one day to create your Life Plan. Needless to say, the Life plan should be implemented starting the next day.

It is necessary to allow yourself to dream, to not expect perfection and to not get distracted.

Implement your plan

Implementing the Life Plan is the most challenging part. It is necessary to:

  • Include your Life Plan in your everyday routine.
  • Fight the feeling of being overwhelmed by life’s drama.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no or to disappoint others.
  • Read your plan daily and review it often.

Review

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy is an easy to read self-help book that is based on some of their traumatic experiences. It is destined to increase our focus, to helps us find out what matters most, to acquire meaning and fulfillment in our everyday life, to allow us to prioritize our lives and to contribute effectively,

This book is written for people who are looking for a better direction for their life because they are either:

  • unsatisfied with the current state of their lives,
  • lack purpose,
  • seeking more balance,
  • unable to overcome life challenges,
  • noticing that their lives don’t fit their vision or dream,
  • not reaching their full potential.

The earlier we start creating and implementing a Life Plan, the better.

Favorite quote(s)

Living Forward will heighten your sense of what’s truly possible for you in life. If you feel out of balance, aware that your current pace is unsustainable; if you are making great gains professionally but don’t want to neglect personal priorities; if you want to have better focus to succeed financially; if you have gone through a recent tragedy and suddenly become aware that life is short; if any of those are true, this book is for you.

I know that how we lead ourselves in life impacts how we lead those around us. Self-leadership always precedes team leadership. We must have a balanced approach to accumulating net worth in all of the critical accounts in our lives, not just one or two. Ultimately this allows us to make the greatest difference and adds the most value to those around us. It is possible to grow at work without diminishing other areas of our lives. Living forward helps us find and maintain our balance.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Daniel Harkavy

Michael Hyatt

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Daniel Harkavy

MEET THE AUTHORDaniel Harkavy is currently the CEO and Head Coach of Building Champions. Daniel Harkavy is also an executive coach, a speaker and co-author of the national best-seller Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want.

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Michael Hyatt

MEET THE AUTHORMichael Hyatt is also a blogger, a speaker and co-author of the national best-seller Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want.

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Quote Of The Week #45

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. - Lao-Tsu.png

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How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job By Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith

In How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or JobSally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith have noticed that in the workplace, high achievers — men and women — often demonstrate problematic habits that undermine their career, that have propelled them in the past and that won’t allow them to move further up.

Women, contrary to men, display different self-limiting behavior, face particular challenges, even if they want to advance their career and even if they have assets to contribute to the workplace.

Most often, women feel stuck in their jobs. Feeling stuck comes from feeling like you are unable to move forward, like some force is willfully holding you back, like you are not allowed to use your strengths or you are underappreciated. The feeling of being stuck will shape their behavior and will subsequently determine how others will respond to them.

There are also various external barriers that hold women back from success: most workplace structure has been designed by men for men. Stereotypes influence women ability to move up the ladder: they are their perceived as too aggressive, too passive, too talkative, too quite, too emotional, too mean, they smile too much or frown too much… Needless to say, women are not at all responsible for these barriers or being held back.

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Changing habits

People tend to cling to habits that have made them successful but that are no longer serving them. These habits have been reinforced by external factors and by people who want to celebrate your success, by the fact that most people are blind to their own weaknesses.

Furthermore, organizations are quick to claim that they thrive on change, but make it hard for their employees to change within them because:

  1. Organizations assign roles and tasks on past behaviors and keeping them there. This makes it difficult for employees to practice new behaviors.
  2. Organizations celebrate and reward a successful action and ignore a warning or a successful lack of action. Someone would be celebrated for signing a good deal and avoid a bad one. The latter are viewed as naysayers.

Habits are not intrinsic to your character but are your comfort zone, your default setting created by your surroundings. Changing is hard, time-consuming and may require external help.

People will then hold one to old behaviors rather than changing them. That resistance is built naturally by rationalizing a behavior, by your brain after repeated behavior and familiar situations.

Because stopping a habit is more effective than starting one, Helgesen & Goldsmith have put together 12 habits to stop practicing in order to be successful as a woman. To open new doors, be purposeful and intentional about choices and change behavior, it is first detrimental for women to identify how them define success.

 

 

According to Helgesen and Goldsmith, while caring about rewards and status, most women value satisfaction, quality of life and the impact of their contribution over a high salary or a high position. Women don’t define success as winning or as keeping score, don’t enjoy competition and rather collaboration. Hence, women find it easier to transition to leadership positions because they can place emphasis on others instead of themselves.

Your old habits have previously served but are currently hindering you. It’s not too late to change and acquire better habits. To get rid of them:

  • Identify the habits you need to work on.
  • Recognize your behavior as a habit, try different behaviors and observe the responses.
  • Repeat behaviors until your brain is comfortable with the new behavior.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  • Recognize your strengths as well, avoid judging people.
  • Address habits one at a time.

HABIT #1: Reluctance to claim your achievements

Women work harder than men but avoid taking credit for their successes, avoid using the pronoun “I” because they believe that:

  • Their work will automatically speak for itself.
  • This behavior is obnoxious and disruptive.
  • The group to which they belong to expect them to be modest, unobtrusive and coy.

To get over the reluctance to claim your achievements:

  • Learn how to promote yourself.
  • Believe that you are detrimental to your own success.
  • Find out what motivates you, why you want to get ahead at work.
  • Enlist the help of people to speak on your behalf and don’t contradict what people have to positively say about you.

HABIT #2: Expecting others to spontaneously notice and reward your contributions

When others don’t notice the work that they do, women start to feel unacknowledged or underappreciated for the hard work that they put in. They start to feel like the don’t belong and will look for another place to work.

To get over expecting others to spontaneously notice and reward your contributions:

  • Set goals for your career and share your vision at every opportunity.
  • Prepare an elevator speech and be ready to deliver it at any moment. This will demonstrate your ambition, clarify your future, get you noticed, show that you are confident and serious, will be an opportunity to highlight your skills, will help you identify the self-serving opportunities. Your elevator speech should be clear, concise, identical to a personal vision or mission statement.

HABIT #3: Overvaluing expertise

Becoming an expert in a field gets women noticed, is a defense mechanisms, a way of asserting their value.

However, mastering a role will only keep you in the same role. Becoming an expert is time-consuming, will make you knowledgeable but will not make you a leader.

To get over the habit of overvaluing expertise:

  • Build relationships, increase influence and do the job well enough.
  • Don’t be sloppy.

HABIT #4: Just building rather than building and leveraging relationships

To women, building relationships is emotionally and personally rewarding. Indeed, women have good relationships skills but don’t leverage them to get ahead in the workplace because they don’t want:

  • Their connections to feel used.
  • Their relationships to be based on self-interests.
  • To play the political game.

To get over the habit of just building rather than building and leveraging relationships:

  • Ask people to connect you to higher-ups.
  • Use a win-win or quid pro quo system.
  • Become more intentional about your relationships.
  • Remember that people can benefit from you and vice versa.

HABIT #5: Failing to enlist allies from day one

From the first day on the job, most women tend to try to keep their heads down, to understand every aspect of their job, to avoid asking questions, to value expertise, to be undergoing the impostor syndrome. As seem before, expertise is just your way of making yourself credible.

Instead find out with who you should connect with to get better visibility, more influence.

To get over failing to enlist allies from day one:

  • Reach out to others first and engage as many people as possible.
  • Find mentors and sponsors.
  • Keep in mind that allies are not friends.
  • Talk positively about your allies.
  • Identify the people who can propel you to the next level or that you would enjoy working with.

HABIT #6: Putting your job before your career

Most women trying to do their jobs perfectly because they are loyal, get stuck in the same job for years.

To get over putting your job before your career:

  • Let people know that you are ready for a challenge.
  • Analyze how your current position can serve your long-term interest.
  • Admit self-interest and identify what you value and how you can maximize your strengths.
  • Appreciate you current position.

HABIT #7: The perfection trap

Women tend to be perfect due to social expectations. Doing your job perfectly doesn’t guarantee success. Instead, it creates stress, keep you distracted and annoyed and sets you up for disappointment, it makes you hard on yourself, destroyed by failure, paralyzed by mistakes, sets too high standards for your team.

To get over the perfection trap:

  • Don’t be controlling.
  • Learn to delegate and not micromanage.
  • Learn to prioritize and identify the vital few.

HABIT #8: The disease to please

Women find themselves eager to please, to be nice, to make everybody happy, are afraid of disappointing and of being a burden. This behavior is time-consuming, kills careers, deters from taking a stance and from following a higher purpose.

To get over the disease to please:

  • Identify your priorities.
  • Learn to delegate.
  • Select your commitments with care.
  • Stand your ground.

HABIT #9: Minimizing

Women tend to make themselves smaller, which is translated in the body language and the words they use. This behavior sends the message that they are diminished, subservient, non deserving, uncertain and underachieving.

To get over the habit of minimizing yourself:

  • Talk about your accomplishments, talk about individual and collective wins if that makes you feel fairer.
  • Choose your voice and words carefully.
  • Stay in the moment.
  • Avoid multitasking and spreading yourself too thin.

HABIT #10: Too much

In the workplace, women have to temper and constantly monitor their emotional response to situations. Being perceived as too intense, too emotional, too strong, too vulnerable, too much can be an obstacle to promotion.

Monitoring your behavior, your emotions is draining and makes you come out as inauthentic. To get over the display of too much emotions:

  • women have to exercise self-discipline.
  • Learn to feel, recognize and not immediately react to an emotion.
  • Learn to be concise.
  • Avoid disclosing personal information, problems and weaknesses.
  • Avoid being unprofessional just to be authentic.

HABIT #11: Ruminating

Women are more likely to ruminate, to cling on to the past. They turn their hurt inwards, relive their failure and blame themselves.

Ruminating is counterproductive, are depressing, won’t help you succeed or solve future problems.

To get over the habit of ruminating:

  • women need to find ways to distract themselves and interrupt their thought.
  • learn from the facts and move on.

HABIT #12: Letting your radar distract you

Women notice a lot of details and process them differently than men. They are aware of everybody’s reaction, are distracted by details and are unable to stay ion the moment.

To get over the habit of getting distracted by their radar, discipline your thoughts and refrain from negativity.

 

 

Review

How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job by Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith is relatable, proactive and insightful. It is written for women with the best intention and with the desire to help women stop self-sacrificing and stop self-sabotaging. It is not necessarily targeted towards women of color even though it mentions the challenges that women of color face in the workplace.

Above all, it teaches us introspection and demonstrates how to control what we can, how to change bad habits, how to improve our quality of life and to reach our full potential.

In addition, How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job by Helgesen & Goldsmith pushes us to seek the positive in every interaction, in every feedback and to not take remarks personally even if they are based on stereotypes. It’s all about changing a behavior that stands in your way.

For the most part, I agree that women share habits that keep us from advancing in the workplace. There are several points that were accurate and that resonated with me: I have a nagging tendency to ruminate on negative experiences (Habit #11). Because I pay too much attention to detail (Habit #12), the rumination process is that much amplified.

However, I felt like Helgesen and Goldsmith insinuated that women, aware of the stereotypes placed on them in the workplace, have to take on the responsibility of changing themselves to fit in, have to listen to and apply the feedback they received from the people who perpetuate the stereotypes, that they have to become enablers and mirror men’s behavior.

It doesn’t seem like we are supposed to change to acquire greater values or to reach a higher purpose. But we’re changing to fit someone else’s standards or expectations of us: we move from one expectation to another.

 

Favorite quote(s)

Instead of viewing money and position as the sole or even chief markers of success, women also tend to place a high value on the quality of their lives at work and the impact of their contributions.

the trick to maximizing your talents and opportunities is not becoming a less thoughtful and giving person, but rather being purposeful and intentional about your choices while also addressing the behaviors that keep you stuck.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Sally Helgesen

Marshall Goldsmith

 

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Sally Helgesen

MEET THE AUTHORSally Helgesen is an international speaker, a leadership consultant, an expert on women’s leadership and the best-selling author of How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job.

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Marshall Goldsmith

MEET THE AUTHORMarshall Goldsmith is an award-winning speaker, a leadership consultant and the best selling author of How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job.

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Quote Of The Week #44

To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often. Winston Churchill (1).png

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