Wednesday, June 8

Executive Speaking Tips 

Here are tips to help you bring success to any event when you're asked to 'say a few words.' Follow these tips and you'll also bring credit to your role as a leader.

Be Prepared
Recognize that if you are the supervisor, manager, or top executive attending a company event, there is at least a 99.9% chance that you will be called upon to speak. This includes retirement dinners, company picnics, service award banquets, conferences, management retreats, holiday luncheons, and (even) informal parties. Prepare in advance. Even seasoned professional speakers prepare for presentations that they have delivered hundreds of times.

Be Rehearsed
Once you know what is expected, then plan what you will say. What message do you want to convey? What points do you want to make? What impression do you want to leave?

Be Gracious
Recognize that when you speak at a business event, you represent your company and your office in that company. Use the event as an opportunity to promote good will. Avoid complaints, criticism, or controversy. These will alienate the audience and destroy your credibility.

Be Appropriate
Humor is a wonderful technique for establishing rapport with an audience. If you plan to use humor, be appropriate. Avoid making fun of anyone or anything that might offend people in your audience. Often, the only safe target of humor is yourself.

Be Professional
Avoid all admissions of inadequacy, such as "I'm not too good at speaking" or "I don't know a whole lot about this topic." Just do it. No side commentary needed. Most likely, they will appreciate your sincere efforts to communicate.

Remember: Communication is a prime responsibility of every leader.

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