The Leaders Speech
Author: Sheila Mulrennan
True leadership, is the ability to move people to change.
The ability to lead comes from within and great leaders, those with whom people connect with on an emotional level and who can inspire change, emerge only after experiencing things as they are in the real world. That is why great world leaders, such as Martin Luther King, were able to inspire.
The same applies in business. Those with the ability to relate to their audience, gain their commitment as followers.
It’s human nature to warm to somebody with whom we can relate, hence why reality television has become so successful-we can see ourselves in similar situations.
A leader must convince their audience that they have, at some stage, experienced the same confusions and contradictions. This helps to earn trust.
A true leader must look within and become aware of what message they want to convey, then contemplate how they will communicate it to their audience. They must include a vision of the future based on knowledge and experience of the past.
It is important as a leader to know yourself and be able to identify your personal values that will benefit you in leading people in a certain direction.
Knowing them helps you weave your convictions into what you are trying to say that let others know who you are and what you stand for. Self knowledge, as opposed to book-smarts, is paramount as it sets you apart from others and makes your views original.
The key to an effective leadership speech is structure. You must connect with your audience by telling them where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. Relating to them directly will give people a sense that things are moving forward and that they can contribute to the new future that you describe.
In the opening of your speech, you must prepare your audience to listen with open minds. You must introduce yourself as the speaker; acknowledge the audience and their possible oppositions to your views.
The closing of your speech is perhaps even more important than the opening, as you’ve been successful in offering your views and evoking interest within the audience. This is the point at which you are closest to your audience, and is the best opportunity to reinforce supporters and diffuse opponents.
In today’s world pessimism and distrust are commonplace, and pure showmanship is easily detected. That is why true, value-based leadership is necessary nowadays more than ever. Those who can enthusiastically and confidently portray their vision and captivate audiences, will gain the respectful commitment of their followers and prove to be competent leaders in the fast paced business world of the present day.