Executives are on the go. They lead, guide, direct, think, listen, ask questions, decide, give answers, give talks, do interviews, make presentations, facilitate, collaborate and negotiate all day long.

Communication is central to all of these activities.

If you want to improve your communication skills and leadership presence, do these five things really well. That’s it.**

Your To-Do’s

“Who are you?”
Gautama Buddha, Pete Townshend

Look inside, look around. What makes you tick? How do you see yourself and how do others see you? How consistent are perceptions of you among people up, down, across and outside the organization?

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”
Winston Churchill

Think strategically, tactically, on paper, on your feet. Construct clear, logical messages to present formally and sort your thoughts quickly when speaking on the fly.

“You can’t fake listening. It shows.”
Raquel Welch

Listen with your eyes and ears. Read people and the subtle cues they send. Note what’s said, what’s not said, the meaning behind the words, what your next move should be.

“There is no sense in doing a lot of barking if you don’t really have anything to say.”

Talk so people listen. Strike the right balance between inquiring and asserting. Think about who’s doing what, when and how when offering your response to their response to your response.

Ask good questions that provoke thought and make sense in context, as a result of listening attentively. Go wide or deep by conscious choice and frame questions appropriate to each person.

Be clear and memorable when making assertions: speeches, presentations, informal remarks, stories, opinions and responses to questions. Tie them closely to what interests your audience.

“Be present in all things.”
Maya Angelou

Focus your attention in the moment, completely. Connect fully with a message that matters to you and your audience. Let your physical, mental and emotional energy express what your words can only begin to say.

** Except communication is dynamic.  Factor in the rules of the game, who you’re talking to, where they’re coming from, your objective, staying on time, staying on track, pressure, the unexpected, striking the right balance between asking questions, giving answers, knowing when to lead, when to guide, when to punt, etc.

We can help you with this.