The Impact of Speech Coaching on Leadership
We all know when we’re in the presence of a true leader. They are the ones who lead us in the charge, but they are also the calm in the storm that we can count on. This trust comes from knowing that a leader is committed to their words and authentic in their actions. Anything that stands in the way of delivering that sense of authenticity has to be addressed and corrected. This is the narrow focus of a speech coach that has a very broad impact on making a potential leader a truly effective leader.
As a leader, you always have to be concerned with what you are known for. What is your leadership persona? How do you self-motivate and how do you motivate others? Have you developed relationships of trust and not of just obligation? How do you show empathy, transparency, and even vulnerability without feeling like you’re diminishing your persona?
A good speech coach can help you formulate and then consistently articulate these qualities, sometimes even offering up suggestions on how to deliver the same message in different and creative ways. The subtle nuances of rhythm and tone definitely come into play. Body language is well over 50% of how listeners will perceive your message. Some of the approaches are intuitive and some are counterintuitive. There are proven techniques that really work!
A speech coach is an executive’s eyes and ears on the outside, giving honest feedback on how they are delivering their message and how it is potentially being received. The most important leadership areas that a speech coach touches on are:
#1 – Body Language
Are you using eye contact, facial expressions, posture, and gestures in a way that signals your true level of commitment? Knowing it is not the same as showing it. Don’t only play a good game in your head. Until you can execute the proper delivery of your vision, no one will believe in it.
#2 – Rate of Speech
Speaking too quickly can be a generational thing or it could be due to the excitement of sharing your vision. It could also be the result of public speaking anxiety. Regardless, the rate of your speech is an important part of the clarity of your message. Everything you say is meant to inspire others to similar action. It’s not a matter of “do what I say and not what I do”. A speech coach can reveal how your words and your body language can be in alignment. There is tremendous, undeniable power in this alignment. Listeners see it and hear it – even over the phone!
#3 – Clarity of Message
A message’s lack of clarity could come from not having found the right words. It could also be the result of finding too many words and trying to squeeze them all. The words that resonate and inspire others to action are a leader’s sweet spot.
#4 – Active Listening
As much as delivery is a leadership priority, so too is listening – active listening. It requires body language that shows you are present in the moment, engaged, and curious. Colleagues who feel that they are being heard are much more willing to contribute.
The best intentions can be sabotaged by poor delivery. Most leaders don’t have the time to focus on what specific changes to make and how those changes lead to consistent results. Colleagues may be able to point out the need for change but they won’t know the proper action steps. A speech coach has a narrow focus that, ultimately, has an extremely broad impact. You may know very clearly the kind of leader you want to be. By working with a speech coach, you will align your speaking habits with that vision of self.