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The Power of Presentation: Effective Communication Skills for Leaders

Blacks In Govenment (BIG)"The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives." Tony Robbins, success coach

Can you think of a single profession, career, or entrepreneurial endeavor that wouldn't require strong communication skills? Isn’t this important skill absolutely necessary to effectively convey your ideas and help you interact positively with others inside and outside of the business? I am confident you won't think of an example because we all have to connect with other people on a regular basis, regardless of the profession, if we are to be successful.

Now, take a few minutes to think of a person, well-known or in your immediate circle, who you personally consider to be an effective leader. What traits do that person possess? I would bet communication skills is at least one of their traits because these skills are essential to even conveying and showcasing leadership ability. It doesn't necessarily mean the person is overly talkative or loquacious but it probably means even their few words are effectively used.

So, I believe we can all agree that success in the workplace, community, church, and even in our homes largely depends on our ability to inform, influence, and motivate people around us. And, that ability clearly stems from "the power of the tongue" and how effectively we present information. So, for your future communications, consider the following tips and best practices.

  1. Practice effective listening – focus first on become an outstanding audience for others!
  2. Encourage others to listen to you without asking. Keep it positive and keep it simple.
  3. Know what you communicate through your body language.
  4. Watch the body language of the listener for what they might be conveying to you.
  5. Build rapport and support through positive communications to store up goodwill.
  6. Balance advocacy of your ideas by inquiring about the views and concerns of others.
  7. Organize your thoughts for maximum effectiveness i.e. think before you speak.
  8. Embrace the use of email but only if it's the proper mode of communication.
  9. Always be audience focused i.e. consider what information the listener needs.
  10. Project a positive image. Your image is an important part of your communication.

Shirley A. Jones, Esq. is President of the Region XI Council of Blacks In Government. She can be reached at www.bigrxi.org using the Ask the President link.

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