How can executives sound, think, and talk like a leader?by Jaques Montegolifier Chartered Accountant
Nancy began her day prepared to brief the executive team on a high-stake project which she has been working on for the past two months. Nancy rehearsed her slides to a level where she practically memorized them. On the day of the meeting, she arrived early and waited anxiously for others. The meeting began, and within some time, one of Nancy’s cochairs asked her to brief the executives on the project and recommendations.
Nancy enthusiastically explained her work and hit every talking point correctly. With solid command over her presentation, she felt on top of the game. The moment she moved recommendations, the same cochair person interrupted her and said, ‘The presentation is not relevant to our agenda, and it does not cover the business objective we are covering today.’ What happened there? While Nancy prepared for her meeting thoroughly, she did not strategically structure her message.
This is one of the common problems amidst managers, executives, and leaders when it comes to communication, meetings, and other forums. Learning how to articulate the message based on the objective is a tough task. This is where executive communication training comes to the fore. It can help leaders find themselves in career-damaging situations.
Public speaking training or executive coaching impart the following strategies –
1) Understand context: How often do you let out an unformed idea in a meeting that does not match the business agenda? These types of tactical errors occur when you fail to understand the context of the meeting, presentation, or call. For instance, if you are the one taking the lead in a presentation, then you need to make the final calls and decisions. If you are one of the executives who may have input, then your views should connect the dot with others. If you are merely a silent spectator, then you require to watch and listen.
2) Visionary: Often, we fail to tap into an executive voice because we focus too much on our role. Strategic leaders are more idealistic and take an enterprise view. They focus less on themselves and think about the company first. The other ability of a professional executive is articulating aspirations for the future and holding a rationale transformation.
3) Strategic relationships: One of the best strategies that executive communication training teaches is leveraging relationships intentionally with business-minded people. So, seniors and executives who have a strategic perspective concerning the organization come together. Part of the executive voice is expanding your voice beyond your position, team, and area of expertise.
4) Solutions not problems: One of the common concerns with executives is they point out the challenges but do not attempt resolving them. A strong executive voice involves problem-solving and not only pointing fingers in challenging times. You can try to do so by doing your homework, brainstorm fresh ideas, and coming up with a smart solution.
5) Calmness: Public speaking training learnings include staying calm when faced with fears and nervousness. Effective executive voice does not get rattled easily. Can you be level-headed even when people around you lose their composure? The moment you stick with facts and do not fall for emotional traps, you will be able to lead with a powerful executive voice.
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