This one key to becoming a better speaker also improved my leadership

Photo courtesy of Flickr user  Kennisland

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Kennisland

I spend a lot of time working on presentation skills. This experience has taught me how to a frame a compelling conversation. Learning to frame conversations had a tremendous impact on my ability to speak in front of a group and it helped me become a better leader.

When I started my speaking career, I learned there is a big difference between giving good information and creating movement with your words. If I give good information, people would come up to me and tell me they liked the talk and shake my hand. But do they take action on that information or buy anything from me? Rarely.

Once I started framing my talks better and giving the audience a big picture overview of the issue and how it really affects them, I started getting clients instead of pats on the back. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried paying rent with pats on the back, but I don’t recommend it.

What does this have to do with you? Regardless if you are in sales or a speaker or a manager in a company, creating influence is an important part of getting people behind what you’re doing. The essence of leadership is moving people to a desired finish line.

Leaders who lack influence don’t frame issues and information they are delegating, or giving, to their team. Instead, leaders say “Do it because I said.” Zig Ziglar would be so proud. The right way to delegate is to frame what you want and why it’s important. For instance, “Do this because if you execute this correctly it makes your job easier by solving this problem.”

Now that you know what framing is, here are some ways you can frame the responsibility and information that you present to your team as a leader:

  1. Tell them what’s in it for them:
    You can tell people the information and leave it at that. People may follow your direction or they may not. If your information changes the life of the person that you are talking to, then let them know how their life will change.

  3. Tell them how the information or request you are giving them ties into the big picture vision of what you are trying to accomplish
    Not everyone uses a worldview. Some just see the task in front of them. It’s your job as a leader to uncover the bigger picture so that your employee will see how the project they are working on serves the big picture of what the entire business is trying to achieve.

  5. Tell them how this information or task makes your customer’s lives better
    People want to work for a bigger purpose and most people that I know truly like to help other people. Show them how your request impacts people’s lives for the better. This could be customers or teammates.

How you present a problem or request to someone is just as important as the act of presenting it to the person. As a leader, you can use your influence and get results or you can merely give information and hope everything works out. What leader do you want to be?

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Guest bloggers for the TDS Business Blog.

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