Some very interesting commentary and advice from panelists at yesterday’s Silicon Valley IABC luncheon on Turbo-charging Executive Communications. Even as a seasoned practitioner myself, I learned some things and got some good reminders from three real pro’s who have dealt with all manner of executive styles and needs. Help an exec prepare by understanding the company’s voice and his/her ability to capture it. Are they a seasoned speaker? With what kind of audience – internal? media? investors? customers? Are they good at only being on script, or do they improv? Does the improv stay within the approved message realm or get far afield? If too off point, excomms must guide the exec back in to intended messages. Rehearsing is always good – but not all execs will do it, or do it enough to actually be prepared and this can become apparent in a speech pretty quickly. Memorizing a script isn’t great, but keying off select points on very familiar material will facilitate natural sounding dialog and connection with the audience. Don’t be too technical or dry!! The best way to demonstrate opportunities and areas for improvement is to video record a rehearsal or a presentation and have the exec watch themselves afterwards. Coach them, but let them also see it for themselves. Key point at the luncheon was that ‘execs are people too’ and the continually changing pressures and expectations in today’s work environment require leaders to perform at unprecedented levels. Good coaching and a little TLC can go an extra long way these days!
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