We were asked a good question on a recent advanced presentation seminar.
“How do you protect yourself as an authentic leader?”
To connect with any audience, there is an element of personal exposure. They need to feel your belief and passion for what you are talking about. The audience may or may not agree with you. Your boss may feel this isn’t quite the ‘done’ corporate style.
But the alternative is corporate vanilla; a bland style of presenting destined to bore.
You also need to make an emotional as well as a rational connection with an audience. This is what shifts behaviour. It often requires you to share personal experiences that resonate or give examples which reach beneath their cynicism. Again you take a risk. Will it be a hit or a miss?
Once again, the alternative is an audience that simply won’t engage or follow your lead.
From a narrative structure point of view, you’ll need to inject some power on starting, include some highs and lows and some visual chemistry to hold attention and make your message memorable. But does this break all precedents?
Again, do you want the audience to pay attention or mentally switch off? The choice is very real.
Presenting really well face to face or on video does need courage but the prize is worth it to achieve an engaged and motivated team or audience. This is the job of an authentic leader.
And yes. You can protect yourself.
- A good audience analysis and a communications strategy is the important first step.
- Deciding very clearly in your own mind what you will share and what is off limits is absolutely appropriate. You decide. It helps to show you are human and some vulnerability but remember we do want leaders who are strong enough to lead. It’s a balance.
- A good understanding and application of positive and realistic mind strategies will boost your resilience, just like a great tennis player.
- Acquiring really strong technical communications skills will allow you to be flexible enough to deal with the big stage, town halls, video and to use different styles for different situations. It will enable you to take command of any situation.
Leaders get the big bucks because it’s a demanding job, however rewarding. Take the leap into being a really good presenter so you can hold your own with any international cohort.
This is the type of work we do at KineticFuture with global leaders and we get real pleasure from helping you be successful. Do contact us if we can be of assistance to you.