Talking the Talk

Today’s attention economy is no joke. Key stakeholders from employees to investors are constantly connected, divisive politics play havoc and expectations for getting it “right” are sky-high.

Indeed, a recent Harvard Business Review analysis found CEOs who are good and empathetic communicators are increasingly in demand over those with only operational skills. The researchers found C-suite job descriptions mentioning strength in managing material and financial resources plummeted between 2000 and 2017 in comparison to those mentioning strength in social skills. 

According to a recent Axios story: “sharp, persuasive communications have raced to the C-suite’s inner sanctum as a vital ingredient in attracting and retaining investors, customers and employees.” 

But let’s face it, not everyone in leadership positions arrives with a fully developed ability to persuade those who matter. That’s where smart, tailored, insightful and rigorous media and presentation coaching comes in. 

This exercise is different for every leader, but we see a few techniques helping advance skills: 

  • Thinking through what you’re saying not just from your perspective, but from your audience’s POV. No one wants a marketing pitch, they want to be engaged.
  • Relentlessly winnowing down your complicated message to its absolute barest essentials. Grab attention fast or someone else is guaranteed to steal it. 
  • Carving out the time to really practice and hone skills. It’s no longer just a one-off, check-the-box exercise forced upon reluctant CEOs by their nervous comms teams. Executives increasingly seek media and speaking training with long-term commitments that mirror executive coaching. It’s a trend unlikely to let up.