Expressing leadership is not about presenting well.

Speaking up reveals your leadership. However, expressing leadership is about something other than presenting well.

Expressing leadership guides people toward a clear direction. It mutliplies energies. Speaking up empowers teams with autonomy and confidence.

Now, you have been advised to focus on making your presentation flow like a story, to catch attention with a hook, or to improve the layout of your visuals.

If you focus on using presentation skills like these when preparing to express your leadership, the following story might be yours.

Again, last week, participants in my workshop reported that one of their top executives delivered a town hall presentation to hundreds of staff. The presentation attracted much attention because nobody understood the story—no one got the message. When in the middle of a major transformation, leading should be about something other than sophisticated stories and smart strategies delivered with ‘high-value’ visuals.

At the very least, executive communications should replace the inevitable confusion of transformation with clarity.

So, which of the following critical leadership skills have you learned in presentation skills training?

  • Stating your vision and what success looks like.
  • Getting people to think about how they will change their routines and engage their resources and willpower to pursue new common goals collectively.
  • Expressing simple, clear messages about mission, milestones, goal proximity, need for the mission, values at stake, agency, strength and efficacy.
  • Confronting people with status quo, identity and values.
  • Defining ambitious, realistic goals.
  • Leading conversations so that colleagues and teams contribute with their solutions, plans and strategies to make it happen.

As you can see, when you lead, ‘presenting well’ is almost irrelevant.

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