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Leadership Communication Lesson #14: Perfect Your Delivery

Updated: Apr 20

Leaders must have showmanship and know how to "perform" a message. It is part of the job for all leaders. When you balance these three tensions, you perfect your delivery:

  1. Strength and Vulnerability

  2. Fitting In and Standing Out

  3. Distance and Intimacy

When you put all of the opposites into your body language, vocal presence, and content - you naturally will have a better delivery. People often resist the idea of acting in a business setting. Instead, see this as an invitation to bring all your energy, emotion, and creativity to captivate your listener.

Remember, acting is not about faking. It is about stripping away all doubts and believing fully in yourself and your ideas. This is how you become a powerful speaker.

Top 10 Tips:

  1. Plan places for a big toothy smile and a strong scowl that will accentuate the emotions of joy and dissatisfaction.

  2. Plan an unexpected pause.

  3. Mood map the entire message so there is an emotional journey and then use your vocal style to convey those desired mood changes.

  4. Plan your movement to ensure you spend time with the left, center, and right sides of the room.

  5. Begin matching the energy of the room and then lead them to a new energy state.

  6. Practice increasing your volume and pace throughout the second half of the message.

  7. Decide if you will end on a crescendo or decrescendo. Practice both ways and ask someone which sounds better.

  8. Add purposeful repetition so that the key themes and takeaways are memorizable for them.

  9. Plan a movement when you get closer to the audience by taking 2-3 steps forward on a statement or for a story where you want to heighten the emotional impact.

  10. Plan dramatic movements, like a big expansive gesture and a moment of stillness.

What are the best ways to practice?

  1. Record yourself on your voice memo app on your phone. Listen to the recording before you go to bed, while you multi-task, while you exercise, and while you get ready in the morning.

  2. Walk your talk literally. Walk around your home. With each section, go to a new room and look at different pieces of furniture to help you remember the bits. This is the quickest way to memorize a message. We've had people also use public parks and walk their talks there.

  3. Rehearse in front of the mirror for real-time feedback with yourself. Do this 5 times.

Apply these tips with your next large audience and increase the impact. Our lesson on the Daily Warm-Up is a great sequence to run through privately (at home or in the car) right before the event.


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