Leadership is needed in all walks of life. It is required in public speaking as well.
A speaker who is convinced about what he is talking about is in a position to influence people through his speech. Therefore he or she has to exercise leadership to get ideas and truths presented translated into reality and action.
#1. A speaker who exercises leadership has a vision.
It is the ability to see farther than what is required for the moment. It is about believing the possibilities future holds.
Such a person will have a word of hope for the present as he paints a picture of what lies ahead.
It is like J. F. Kennedy saying, “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth (May 25, 1961) or Rev. Martin Luther King the night before he was assassinated prophetically said, “I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land (April 3, 1968).
When the speaker holds before his listeners the certainty of future success, people will rally behind his vision and get it done.
#2. A speaker who exercises leadership will communicate a clear purpose.
He will know exactly what he is trying to achieve. That goal he will communicate in clear, specific and concrete terms.
The challenge of leadership communication today is to connect with audiences in words they are able to understand quickly.
A leader will avoid jargon and big-sounding words to achieve this and make plain the message. Followers then will be motivated to align themselves to the mission the leader has undertaken to achieve.
Several statements that Jesus Christ made are classics in this regard:
He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10) “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).” “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).”
#3. A speaker who exercises leadership will inspire.
As we look at most of the examples of world leaders, past and present, we find that when they spoke people were inspired.
The better the speaker is true to what he says; his credibility increases. That gives the leadership message added power.
Mere pep talk by use of flowery language will get applause but will fail to achieve the objective. In other words style without substance will fail to get desired impact.
Therefore someone who leads by example, when he speaks, will inspire his listeners.
To conclude, all leadership communication will fail if it is not spoken with confidence. It is the leader’s confidence along with his conviction that really connects with his listeners.
Sir Winston Churchill’s words, “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender (4 June 1940)” still continue to inspire long after the World War was over.
Scripture quotes are taken from the New International Version (1984) of the Bible.