Don?t Give Presentations Or Speeches - Give Leadership Talks Instead

The CEO of a worldwide business asked me to help him develop a talk he planned to give to several hundred of his top executives. He said, 'I feel as if I'm Daniel going into the lion's den.'

Indeed, it was the business equivalent of a lion's den that he was entering. Hired from a competing firm, he was a stranger to the company, a company hobbled by declining market share and bad morale caused by the arbitrary actions of the previous CEO, an isolated dictator.

'This is the first time most of them will see and hear me,' he said. 'I'll give a presentation on the state of the business.'

'Hold on,' I said. 'Don't give a presentation. Give a Leadership Talk instead.'

There is a difference, I explained, between a presentation/speech and a Leadership Talk. A presentation/speech communicates information, but a Leadership Talk not only communicates information but makes a deep, emotional, human connection with the audience.

Most leaders give presentations and speeches most of the time when they should be giving Leadership Talks.

'You're facing an important leadership situation,' I said. 'The old saying, 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression' applies here in spades. You've got a great Leadership Talk opportunity. But to have people believe in you and follow you, they must be emotionally committed to you and what you say. So understand what their emotional needs are.'

I went out into the field and talked to a number of his managers and found out that they were feeling intimidated by the demands of increasingly sophisticated customers. I found out that they feared not being supported in the decisions they made in the field. I learned that they were angry at having to meet what they considered unnecessary reporting requirements. I learned that they didn't trust the top executives.

Intimidation, fear, anger, distrust . . . those emotions described the state of his audience and, in truth, the state of the business.

The CEO gave a Leadership Talk that spoke to and answered the needs of those emotions, a talk based on the single idea that he was a person that they could trust.

That Leadership Talk marked the beginning of a turnaround for that company.

The lesson: Analyze and speak to the emotion of a situation, and you can become a dramatically more effective leader.

Make that analysis happen this way:

  • Know the difference between a presentation/speech and Leadership Talk then view every speaking situation you encounter as either a presentation/speech situation or a Leadership Talk situation.

  • Know that you rarely give presentation/speeches and that The Leadership Talk should be your primary leadership communication tool.

  • Analyze the emotions of your audience by asking what they feel at the time you speak, what they fear, what angers them, what inspires them.

  • Structure your talk around emotional-talking points. For instance, list three things that angers your audience. Make those things the main headings of your talk.

  • Speak to them about their emotions. Tell them, for instance, that you realize they are angry and what they are angry about. Tell them what you realize they are feeling.

Speak thus, and you are revealed in powerful motivational ways. Furthermore, they are revealed to themselves.

These revelations can create strong bonds between speakers and audiences.

Understand the speaking situation in terms of its emotional content, and you understand that situation in new ways. Understand it in new ways and you speak in new ways. And when you speak in new ways, your audience acts in new ways.

2004 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

About The Author

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. ? and has worked with thousands of leaders worldwide during the past 20 years helping them achieve sizable increases in hard, measured results. Sign up for his free leadership ezine and get a free guide, "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at http://www.actionleadership.com

In The News:

Curry to hear water presentation  easternnewmexiconews.com
Research Presentation: VR in the Italian Classroom  University of Arkansas Newswire
Museum hosts WWII comic book presentation | News  Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Urunga Bowling club presentation  Bellingen Courier Sun
Paint the Plow Presentation  PAHomePage.com

1,000,001 Reasons To Connect With Your Audience

Eye contact is mandatory when giving a public presentation.The goal... Read More

35 Surefire Ways to Kill a Meeting

1. Play "find the meeting" by changing the location and... Read More

Tips to Temper Speaking Anxiety

People take it for granted that leaders have achieved some... Read More

Group Meetings: Being Prepared Makes a Difference

MANAGING MEETINGS--BEING PREPARED MAKES A DIFFERENCE: You can schedule all... Read More

Chairing A Meeting The Most Effective Way

How many times have you attended a meeting where the... Read More

Top Ten Tips For Better Business Presentations To Asian Audiences

Audiences around the world are all different. Cultural, social and... Read More

The Relationship between Information Sender and Receiver: The Art of Communication

For communication to take place, a message must be transmitted... Read More

Audience Respect

One of the biggest mistakes most presenters make is in... Read More

Wow! Is That ME? - Creating a Powerful One-Page Bio

First of all, what is a bio sheet and why... Read More

After the Speech

Usually the emphasis on making an effective speech is what... Read More

Plasma Screen Hire ? What Do You Need to Know for Presentations

How many people will need to see the screen? A... Read More

Winning The Big Pitch - The 7 Deadly Sins Of Business Presentations And How To Avoid Them!

Are poor presentations costing you business?The ability to deliver a... Read More

Story Telling As a Business Tool

Long long ago, it was the time when time itself... Read More

What Every Manager Should Know About How to Sharpen His Presentation Skills

Regardless of the nature of our job or social standing,... Read More

The Who, What, Where and When of Color In Your Documents

This article will help you to assess and maximise the... Read More

Eight Success Tips for Your First Trade Show Booth

Exhibiting in a trade show can involve a major investment... Read More

Presentation Skill Mistakes

Last week my husband and I attended an awesome 4... Read More

Conducting Successful Training Activities

Whether you are training preschoolers in the classroom or executives... Read More

Choosing a Company Shirt vendor

Where can you choose a company shirt vendor? There are... Read More

How to Begin a Lesson Plan

DEVELOPING LESSON PLANS: In developing lesson plan formats, two things... Read More

Death by PowerPoint!

The most critical job of a manager, when you boil... Read More

Speech in Business

The social skills of a small businessperson, franchisee, independent contractor... Read More

5 Breakthrough Marketing Ideas

Do you ever get frustrated with your marketing? Are you... Read More

Top Ten Rules for Effective Presentations

I am of the belief that the majority of people... Read More

7 Myths That Make Meetings Miserable

Myth 1: Executives belong in meetings.Although the demands of business... Read More