Recently a client asked, ‘What makes for a top executive communicator?’
Here is a list of traits I compiled for the person (that are continually revised and, are in no particular order).
A top executive communicator:
– projects energy and certainty through their body, face, voice, feeling tone, cadence, words, message structure.
– is light about themself while serious about their topic (but not too serious).
– is never perceived as being rushed. ‘Owns’ time.
– is overall – playful and helpful in manner – but can let their ego grow to whatever size needed so they’re not intimidated by anyone.
– takes the lead and makes others feel at ease.
– connects people.
– can command the full range of their attention, including their inner feelings and impulses. They’re aware of how others perceive them and understand what others need from them. They withhold judgement and are curious. They dismiss distractions and can focus intently on the present moment.
– sits and stands quietly, while ‘owning’ space.
– Moves on purpose. Make strong gestures paired with strong points.
– has a resonant voice that keeps attention through its variation. Uses a voice pitch that supports the influence they want to exert. For example, uses a higher pitch for warmth. A lower pitch for authority.
– structures message in Open-Middle-Close and adheres to the principle of ‘less is more’ (ie. use of less words has more impact).
– has plentiful options for listening and speaking under pressure.
– asks thought-provoking questions that make their reports, peers and seniors think.
– has fresh metaphors to make their ideas memorable.
– has ‘true’ self-confidence. True self-confidence is the ability to look at the world without the need to find signs that stroke their ego.
Own the Conversation
In the next seven days;
- Consider which trait, you already have from the above list, and continue to strengthen it.
- Consider another trait that may be an area of need. Reflect on how you might develop it..
p.s. Here is Ernest Hemingway‘s ‘Theory of Omission’ that aligns with the ‘Less is more’ trait.
‘The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one eighth of it being above water. The power of beautiful prose comes from what you leave out.’