Why has the corporate world forgotten the power of delivery?
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In recent addresses by CEOs at leading organisations like Optus, PwC and Qantas, I’ve observed a trend: a reliance on pre-scripted messages, often repeated and delivered in a voice and manner that seem incongruent with the content.
I blame Aristotle.
Initially, the ancient Greek philosopher whose ideas still echo in our boardrooms, brought to light the undeniable power of delivery in communication. For instance, Aristotle stated: “Silent gestures – even without words – can give you away.”
At the same time, he warned against an overreliance on elements such as gestures and movement. He believed that focusing too much on the performative aspects of delivery could transform genuine persuasion into manipulation, lacking in factual and rational depth.
In the end, Aristotle concentrated primarily on two canons of rhetoric within the foundation of gravitas: arrangement and style. His emphasis on logic in structuring arguments (arrangement) and using compelling language (style) became foundational in associating gravitas with these elements.
His influence has led us to overlook the significance of movement, gestures, and vocal dynamics in our delivery. The focus on the logic and structure of content alone has often overshadowed the importance of how we present our messages.
Fortunately, this oversight has been addressed – by ancient Greek thinkers such as Demosthenes as well as modern scholars like Mehrabian and Birtwistle.
The great Greek orator Demosthenes once said the major skill of influence is ‘delivery’ the second most important is ‘delivery’ and the third is ‘delivery.’
Thank goodness for that!
In the high-stakes environment of corporate leadership, where every communication can have far-reaching impacts, rediscovering the balance between content and delivery is essential. It’s not just about the substance of our message but also about how we engage, persuade, and resonate with our audience through our delivery.
Are you focusing as much on the delivery of your message as you are on the content itself?
Mastering the ‘Touch Turn Talk’ Method for Impactful Leadership Delivery
Ever poured hours into a plan or proposal only to feel it hasn’t hit the mark when you’ve presented it?
You’re not alone.
When presenting information, whether it’s on a whiteboard or digital screen, the key is not what’s on display, but HOW you share it. It’s essential to captivate your audience and not let the medium take centre-stage.
My technique to maintain this connection? The ‘Touch Turn Talk’ method.
- Touch the information point
- Turn back to your audience
- Talk and elaborate on the point
This ensures YOU remain the focus, while seamlessly incorporating the information you’re sharing.
It’s a skill that can be honed in everyday situations. Touch, turn, talk when you’re ordering your morning pastry!
Did you know…?
It’s surprising how often I get asked if we can learn gravitas! Many view gravitas as a rare gift bestowed upon a chosen few. But after decades in the realm of leadership communication, I’m here to tell you – gravitas is a craft waiting to be mastered.
We can all cultivate our own unique gravitas!
Read my take in Forbes on why I believe this and tips to help you.
Until next week – happy practising!
p.s. Today is a milestone and I am thrilled to finally share the cover of my new book with you. Interested in getting your hands on a copy? Pre-order here!