INTRODUCTION TO AUTHENTIC COMMUNICATION
What do people want most from leaders?
The real deal!
This is especially true when leaders open their mouths to speak. How they say it may be as important as what they say. Whether the person speaking is your boss or our president, we want to know that he or she knows we are listening and respects us for doing so.
Another word for this is authenticity.
We want people in charge to be honest and we want their words to ring with integrity. Never is this truer than when the leader is making a formal presentation or delivering a speech.
The words are crafted but the delivery must be authentic. It must reflect the honesty of the speaker, or something I like to call “leadership presence.”
Leadership presence is the reflection of the leader’s inner self. It should be the real deal. Presence, however, is not simply a sense of being; it is a determination of action. Leadership presence, as I wrote in 12 Steps to Power Presence, is a form of “earned authority.” Authority comes from the title of a leader, but it is earned by example.
A leader’s job is to bring people together for a common purpose, so credibility is critical. That will only come when people trust their leader and want to follow his or her lead. Communication opens the door to understanding what the leader is and what he or she stands for.
The Leader’s Guide to Speaking with Presence focuses on delivering the authentic message and doing it as a leader full of presence. There are chapters on crafting the presentation as well as on delivering it. I have also included information on using PowerPoint as a tool for enabling more authentic communications.
The Leader’s Guide to Speaking with Presence is a result of lessons I have taught in my coaching practice, as well as tips I have learned from watching good speakers deliver. The handbook contains more than a hundred tips on what to do when speaking aloud, not simply from a stage or a podium but also when connecting one-on-one or in small groups.
Communication opens the door to authenticity. A leader’s presence affirms that what the leader says is an indication of what he or she believes. And when we sense that the leader means well, we will lend the leader our ears and will be inclined to follow his or her leadership.