Uncovering the Power In Leadership
5 steps to creating a movement through effective communication
In this blog post, you’ll receive 5 simple steps that will help you become a stronger, more powerful, effective leader by honing your communication and public speaking skills.
When it comes to the discussion of how speaking makes you a powerful leader, we want to take a step back in time and start from the very beginning; when communication first emerged in humans and what it meant for life back then.
Looking back at the history of humans, as a species, we have thrived from the moment we started to develop language and verbal communication. Why? Because instead of previously only being able to produce simple sounds and gestures in an effort to communicate, all of a sudden we found the words to explain what we were experiencing in the world around us.
We could verbalize our ideas, we could verbalize our experiences, we could verbalize our thoughts and feelings. From this, humans instantly became vastly more complicated, complex, and more sophisticated than any other species on the planet. As a result, we thrived.
The more useful information you could exchange with the people in your tribe, the more everyone in your tribe was equipped to survive. Consider this scenario: stumbling across a poisonous plant. Previously, you wouldn’t have been able to effectively communicate exactly what you found and the side effects of it, but now with the capability to use words, you can explain to someone else what happened to your friend who ate the plant.
Here’s another scenario: imagine yourself 200,000 years ago in the back bushes of Africa with your tribe. You’re sitting around a campfire and someone shares a really captivating story about how he had an encounter with a rhino. The rhino was charging at him. And as he’s explaining this in vivid detail, you can actually picture yourself right alongside him being charged at by a rhino! He goes on to explain how he escaped the rhino, sharing every little aspect of the story.
Then, the next day, wouldn’t you believe it? You find yourself in the same situation! Right as you encounter that rhino, you flashback to the story you heard at the campfire. Except rather than imagining yourself right alongside the storyteller, you’re actually being charged at by a rhino. Now, because the storyteller did such a great job of sharing their experience, you know exactly how to escape. And because of him, you survived the rhino.
When you get back to the tribe that night, and every night thereafter, guess whose fire you’re going to sit at? That’s right, you’re going to sit with the rhino story guy! He shared his survival story with you in such great detail that it actually saved your life, too.
Fast forward to today, isn’t it very much the same scenario? (Rhinos excluded.) When you see a large group of people surrounding one storyteller, there’s something inside of you that feels compelled to listen to that story as well. If that many people are interested in what he has to say, it must be valuable, right? So now you can see how that attraction is rooted deep within us. This is just one of the many reasons why effective speaking skills and great communication skills will set you up to be seen as the leader of any group, in any scenario.
So that’s one way you can use your communication skills to be seen as the leader of a group. Now, let’s take a deeper look at why public speaking will actually serve to make you a better leader. Here are five attributes to look for in a great leader that relate back to their speaking skills:
You can use your communication skills to be seen as the leader of a group.
1. Leaders excel at building better and more meaningful relationships with people.
If you look at leaders, they all have incredibly powerful relationships with many different types of people. Why? Simply put, they’re better at communicating. They are extremely capable of explaining what’s happening in their head, sharing their emotions, and sharing their ideas. As a result, they understand how to effectively communicate with other human beings in a way that makes people want to follow them.
Through understanding themselves, they’re able to understand how to communicate the ideas that start in their head as just a little thought and branch them into fruition. Having a conversation with someone who knows what it’s like to relate, who knows what it’s like to tell great stories and to actually share what’s going on in their lives — and to really hear what you’re sharing — will set you up for better and more meaningful relationships.
People love to be heard, people love to be understood, and people love to be able to share openly with someone who really knows how to listen. A part of having great communication skills is knowing how to listen, and this, in return, will ensure everyone you encounter will feel worthy; like they belong in that conversation. This then translates into people wanting to spend more time with you, listen to you, and care about what you have to say.
A part of having great communication skills is knowing how to listen.
2. Leaders share a vision in a way that people can actually understand,
As a leader, when you are a great public speaker, you will be able to share your ideas with people in a way that makes them want to understand you. Perhaps even more importantly, in a way that people can see your vision. If others aren’t able to quite grasp and visualize your vision, you don’t actually have a vision, you have an idea.
So the sign of a great leader is someone who’s able to communicate their ideas properly to other people, effectively sharing their vision.
3. Great leaders unite people by getting them to move toward one goal.
How do you do that? By clearly explaining what the goal is and painting the vision for your audience. Keep in mind that your audience can be anyone in anything from a boardroom to an auditorium, to a small group of people. If more people listen to the same speech, if you can share your vision to multiple people at once in a very persuasive, confident, reliable way, you will be able to unite your audience to work together toward one specific goal.
When you have the skillset that empowers you to be able to explain your vision properly to more people at once, you hold the key to unifying them.
4. Leaders are held accountable.
Leaders are the people society looks up to for answers. When you’re sharing a vision and uniting people to work toward that vision, you are the face of that vision. You are in the process of creating a movement. So since that’s the case, no matter how small the group of people you’re leading may be, you need to be able to support, backup and defend your cause.
Leaders are the people society looks up to for answers.
If/when all hell breaks loose — because it often does — everyone will be looking at you for the answers. It’s your responsibility as a leader to be able to stand your ground and move people in the right direction to give them the tools they need to actually succeed at achieving the goal — hell breaking loose or not. Giving your audience the direction they need to look forward and beyond any potential disaster is key, and if you cannot do that, then there’s no way you’re going to be a great leader.
The moment you find yourself in a situation where everyone is looking at you, and everyone is either expecting you to come up with a solution, or defuse a conflict between people, or something doesn’t go as planned… What are you going to do? How are you going to move this group of people toward the right direction?
The only way you can keep it all under control is by having excellent communication skills. You may not have even realized that if you’re doing this with multiple people at once, not only are you flexing your great communication skills, but you’re also flexing your public speaking skills. By being a better communicator, you’ll be a stronger public speaker, and ultimately you will become a world-class leader.
The only way you can keep it all under control is by having excellent communication skills.
5. The power is in the following.
The more people you have standing behind you, the more powerful your movement becomes. So many great leaders have hundreds, thousands, even millions of people who are following them because people see them as great leaders and worthwhile people to be following. Humans consciously choose the leaders they follow; they aren’t out there in the world just randomly following this person or that person. There are good reasons why they follow the people they do, and it often comes down to their ability to communicate why they are worth following.
Humans consciously choose the leaders they follow.
What’s that reason? Typically, we choose to follow the people who share the biggest benefits with us, who increase our quality of life, who can help us in whatever area we might be seeking guidance in.
Think back to the campfire storytelling example. You’re going to sit with the person who shares incredibly valuable stories with insights and knowledge you can apply in your own life. When you’re a great speaker, you’ll curate a great following. The more following, the more you can do as a leader.
When it comes to effective leadership, think of it as a cycle: you’re a great speaker, a great storyteller, a great leader, then people start following you, and because people start following you, other people will want to follow you, strengthening your influence and impact on the world. The cycle keeps building and building until you realize that the bigger the following, the more influential you are as a leader.
At this point, we invite you to take a good look at yourself. Take a look at your own situation. Where are you already thriving as a leader? Where could you possibly step up your leadership skills? If you feel like you’re ready for the next level, either in your personal or professional life, chances are if you can communicate better, people will start to see you as a better leader in order to get you there.
Since we’re always in the business of providing you with the materials you need to step up your speaking game, we invite you to download your free copy of The Stage Effect — our comprehensive look at how you can create real influence and leadership by honing your communication skills, and all the benefits that follow.