Speak Like an Effective Leader With These Three Tips
Having the skills to build a successful career doesn’t necessarily mean that someone has what it takes to become an effective leader. To inspire your team, you’ve got to speak like an effective leader. As Simon Sinek notes in his book, “Start With Why,” “Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.”
Learning to speak like an effective leader can begin with a few quick tips that will help you exhibit confidence and surety when talking with your team. The first tip, breathing, can be critical in all interactions, even those that don’t require great leadership skills! Secondly, word choice can be a critical tool to help you connect, and last, active listening can help you get that “charisma” everyone looks for in a leader.
Let’s explore these three tips and develop ways you can easily implement them as you learn to speak like an effective leader!
First, Learn To Breathe
Short, shallow breathing can make you run out of air quickly. Since you want to project confidence, practice diaphragmatic breathing.
Diaphragmatic breathing uses your diaphragm, a muscle located at the bottom of your lungs, to draw air into your body. Since you use your diaphragm, your lungs get more air than when you breathe with your chest.
You can practice diaphragmatic breathing by:
- Putting one hand on your chest.
- Placing your other hand on your abdomen.
- Breathing in through your nose so that you can feel your abdomen rise.
- Exhaling the air through your mouth.
Practice this exercise a few times each day until you automatically breathe with your diaphragm rather than your chest. Then, when it’s time to inspire others with your words, just remember to breathe.
Then, Improve Your Word Choices
In casual conversation, you probably don’t think too much about the words you use. Word choice, however, matters a lot when you want to energize a group and convince them to follow your vision.
You can improve your word choices by making notes before you give presentations. Try to choose active, strong words that help people see your idea in their mind’s eye.
Even minor changes can make your speaking more effective. For instance, you can use the word “will” instead of “might.”
Also, avoid industry jargon that people have heard hundreds of times already. Your audience will quickly tune you out. Besides, leaders don’t rely on catchy buzzwords. They use words and phrases that have meaning.
Finally, Become An Active Listener
Speaking like an effective leader means that you need to become an active listener. Active listening helps ensure that your team members understand what you tell them. If they don’t seem to grasp the concept, then you can take a new approach that works better.
You can use a lot of techniques to improve your active listening skills. Some popular options include:
- Paraphrasing a person’s statement so they know you heard them.
- Encouraging speakers to continue by using words like “I understand” and “Oh?”
- Validating a person’s position, even when you plan to counter that position.
The better you get at active listening, the more you can connect with your audience and make sure they understand you.
Creating better leaders for your company demands powerful communication skills. To empower you leaders with the ability to connect with their people, check out A Better Leader’s lessons. From planned connections to employee engagement, creating better leaders begins with outstanding leadership training.