“If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.” – Warren Buffet
The world of business is guilty of perpetuating a very old myth, which is that leaders are born and not made. Many believe that leaders are somehow gifted with entirely different DNA than the rest of us mere mortals. From birth they have been anointed, chosen to lead everyone else.
But the truth is, while not everyone may have what it takes to lead others, many people can become great leaders if they put in the time and effort to acquire and hone some necessary skills.
Leaders Should Listen to Warren Buffet
Warren Buffet is the second richest man in the entire world. Most people have heard of him and know that he believes in certain investment principles, most notably choose favorable long-term investments with good management and buy low sell high.
But not everyone knows that Warren Buffet is a strong believer in good communication. Buffet has been quoted as saying that people could increase their lifetime earnings by 50% if they learned effective communication skills.
Buffet is also a big believer in getting over the fear of public speaking. And he’s kind of an expert on this particular topic because Buffet himself was once terrified of getting up in front of people and speaking. In fact, he was so scared that in high school and college he arranged his classes so he wouldn’t have to ever get up and speak in front of people. In college, he signed up for a Dale Carnegie course for $100, but at the last minute lost his nerve and backed out of the class.
It was when he moved to Omaha and began in the securities business that Buffet signed up for the Dale Carnegie course and actually completed it. The rest, as they say, is history. Buffet has done extremely well in business, to put it very mildly, and much of his ability to lead his team at Berkshire Hathaway has everything to do with acquiring good communication skills.
How to Use Your Presentation Skills to be a Good Leader
Leadership is about having a vision and making that vision become a reality. But to succeed as a leader, you have to be able to share that vision and inspire others to help you achieve it.
Here are some presentation skills that will help you be an effective leader:
Know Your Audience
Public speakers, good ones anyway, have taken the time to research their audience before preparing what they are going to say. By doing this they give themselves every opportunity to craft a message that is entirely relevant.
Leaders who want to fully engage and influence others will benefit from knowing their audience. Be sure to take the time to understand who you are speaking to. What motivates those you are leading? What language do they respond to? What are you hoping they feel?
Presentations generally have two parts: the speech and the Q&A afterwards. Life works much in the same way – we generally share an idea with people and then those people have follow-up questions about our idea.
There is no point in crafting just the right message for team members, only to be unprepared for any follow-up questions. And there will be questions. Good leaders field those questions happily and competently.
Share Your Passion
Good presenters share their ideas with the audience. Great presenters share their passion. Don’t be afraid to share yours. Passion is what will inspire those you lead to give their all toward the common goal.
Watch That Body Language
According to Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, human beings naturally make profound judgements based on body language. As a leader, you must recognize that your body language will play a significant role in whether your employees decide to trust what you are saying and believe in your vision enough to follow you.
In other words, though you may be in front of others trying to seem confident in what you are saying, if your body is closed and small, you are showing a big lack of confidence. When you are standing and speaking in front of those you wish to lead, use a power stance and be sure to make eye contact with everyone.
Leaders are not always born, often they are made. If you would like to become an effective leader within your organization, I encourage you to hone your presentation skills. Make a commitment today to become the best communicator you can, and watch the amazing things that will happen in both your professional and personal life.