Have you ever had a new leader come to introduce themselves and address the company or an existing leader stand up to run a meeting and address the masses? It can go great or it can be awful… forgetful at best or upsetting at worse! I’ve had the pain and privilege of being on both sides… listening to forgetful speeches from a new leader sounding like a politician, speaking all about themselves, or rambling in a monotone voice that I can’t even recall what they were talking about. I’ve made the mistake of being promoted and not addressing my team at all; instead, getting right to what I thought was the important work, and I’ve been a part of an awesome team that did it the right way… every single time. So, you’re a leader and Professional Speaking isn’t your full-time job… but it is mine and CONNECTING & RESULTS are your full-time job and starts with how you address your team and your people individually. So, what to do and how to do it?
Truthfully, it makes me cringe every time someone calls me a Motivational Speaker. I know it’s the language most people know how to best describe what I do however, in my mind, I picture a speaker rah-rahing you up… and when you wake up the next day, you’re all energized but don’t know what the heck to do! I despise that thought and feel those speakers are stealing money. If someone needs to call me a motivational anything… I’d prefer a “Motivational Teacher” or simply a professional speaker and author. I mention this because YOU, as a leader, are your organization’s or team’s new teacher, mentor… and Motivational Teacher. You may not speak with the passion and skill-set of a professional speaker, but here are a few nuggets to assist your evolution!
First, let’s discuss what to eliminate. Some leaders use too many words to say something simple. Believe me, simple can be better and can be filled in later. One of my pet peeves from college was a professor requiring students to do a paper… and it had to be 20 pages. What!!! Can you imagine receiving a 20-page email or a 20-page document from someone? My wife works in the law and I certainly understand there are jobs and situations that require a hefty stack of paperwork… but not always and defiantly not in your initial introduction to the team. Be mindful not to use so many words and remember a sign of social intelligence is being able to say a lot in a little!
Second, eliminate the bureaucratic jargon! I’m honored to meet with awesome leaders around the world and every now and then I ask leaders to tell me what they’d like to get out of bringing someone like me in and/or to tell me about the company… and they begin down this path of jargon-filled, doctoral-degree, bureaucratic rant; leaving me exhausted and uninspired. Although, you as a leader, may be right in everything you said… the massive jargon-dump also worked to dehumanize you and can further disconnect you from your people.
There’s a time and place for your organizational jargon; simply be mindful of who you’re speaking with, when the jargon is necessary and appropriate, the glaze over the eyes of your audience, and simply speak human-to-human… being willing to fill in more when needed or requested. I operate off of two simple rules; if your 13-year-old can’t understand it… it may be to convoluted and it’s amazing how much more your people will do for you, with you, because of you, and forgive about your leadership when they feel a connection to you!
Third, make your message real! Facts, plans, and problems only go so far… to make them real include stories. The stories can be about you, previous co-workers (not sharing real names of course), or even stories that are currently happening in the company but changing names, gender, and the company name to share a problem, solution, and outcome. This is a great way to backdoor a real issue and not outright confront. You will be surprised who may come up to you afterward and say, “Wow, that really made me think; I felt you were talking to me”. Stories make you more real, your plan more proven, and your connection more solid as other leaders can relate and some employees are more intrigued!
As a leader, you now know things to eliminate and what to add, but what do you actually say when it’s time to take the stage and speak?
Greet everyone and Thank Them for letting you have a bit of their time!
Welcome them to what you will be talking about today. Keep it short and to the point; allowing them to know the plan and what to anticipate. As a professional speaker, I usually start with… “Welcome to How to Manage C.H.A.N.G.E.; The change you want, think you want, and don’t want professionally and personally. Today, we’re going to discuss….”. You may say, “Welcome to our first of many meetings together. I’m excited to be a part of this wonderful organization and I look forward to meeting everyone as we move forward. I have some things I’d like to share today, but who am I and why should you be listening to me anyway!”.
Who are you and what’s your impact? As a Keynote Speaker, I usually greet, welcome, then say my name and impact… I’m Andre Young; I’m a professional speaker, author, leadership trainer, and Founder of You Evolving Now and my mission and impact is enhancing two things… Leadership & Work/life Harmony! Simply say your name, your title, and the one or two things you are big on and passionate about as a leader!
Explain Your Impact
Why is the impact you mentioned so important to you and how is it important for them? I find it’s better to start with pain… what happens to employees, teams, and organizations when the impact you mentioned isn’t addressed? This is a perfect time for a story of what you’ve experienced. Then how focusing on your impact will be better for them professionally and personally. Be mindful, discussing your impact must address how it benefits them as a person, a professional, the organization, and your customer base!
You’ve worked to eliminate unnecessary words and jargon, added stories, greeted, welcomed, introduced yourself, and explained your impact… it’s time to explain what to do and how to do it!
This is the framework of every speaking engagement, training, book, or article I’ve ever done and works to connect, motivate, and enhance knowledge:
– Share what you’re talking about
– Why you’re talking about it
– And to-the-point common-sense bullet points of what to do about it
If this is your first-ever meeting with a new team or organization… it may be wise to say, “ I have ideas, but I think it’d be unfair to start or stop anything until I’ve met 1-on-1 with everyone (or Direct Reports) and attend team meetings to get the lay of the land first. I look forward to our next meeting to come back together!”.
After you’ve gotten the lay of the land or are an existing leader tasked with rolling out something new… here’s the time to share what the new thing is and the bullet points of how to do it.
You will later get your shovel out to meet with your leaders to go a bit deeper to be sure you and your leaders have a firm grasp on The Leader’s 3 to ensure success.
1. What’s your Vision for the team and the Vision Factors… the 3-5 things that when done consistently, the Vision has to come true? As a leader, know your V & VF, your leader’s V & VF… to be sure they align, and the cherry on top is your leaders knowing their people’s V & VF!
2. What expectations do you and your leaders have for the team?
3. What rules do you or your leaders have to enhance not only their Leadership & Work/life Harmony, but also that of those they are leading?
This process may not make you a world-renowned professional speaker, but it certainly won’t make you worse! Enjoy the framework, your evolution, and impacting your team, your organization, and indirectly… your customers and clientele!
“In your presentation, adding personal stories can make you more real, your plan more proven, and your connection more solid…
Be Mindful!” – Andre Young
Written by: Andre Young
I’d like to learn more about Andre Young’s Leadership & Work/Life Harmony Trainings & Speaking Engagements, books, Online Training Program for my organization, leaders, employees, and teams or MasterClass! www.youevolvingnow.com
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