The Myth of the Good Idea

Good ideas don’t sell themselves.  Janet Holmgren shares her strategies for becoming a more effective communicator and developing your executive presence.

There are many myths about leadership, including that savvy ideas or smart work equate to success. The truth is: communication that influences, motivates, and inspires others to take action is a critical skill of an effective executive and leader.

How Do You Become a More Effective Communicator?

Understand the context

In professional settings, there are expectations of what will be communicated, how it will be communicated, and how to listen for the essential message. The most effective leaders know how to read the context and shape their message to succeed with the right audience, at the right moment.

You can’t do it alone.

Communication is a two-way street. Practical experience and feedback from others is crucial to determine the effectiveness of your communication strategies and your voice. You are responsible for other people’s understanding of your ideas.

There are 3 common stumbling blocks to executive communication that can be overcome with knowledge and practice. Common issues are:

1. Talking too fast.

You may be afraid that you won’t get every thought out, but you will lose your listener if you speak too fast or fail to be clear and straightforward. Know the message you want your listener to leave with and keep it front and center.

2. Using “Upspeak”

You may end statements with a rising intonation with the assumption that you are inviting the listener in. Upspeak can be effective if used strategically; however, in standard practice, it tends to undermine  your credibility.

3. Waiting too long to get into the mix.

Often this boils down to not having a good plan for ‘interruption,’ or a good strategy for regaining the ‘floor’ if you have been interrupted.

Strong communication skills will help you create positive impact in your organization.

If want to learn more about effective communication techniques and get hands-on practice and feedback, join me on February 10 at Cooper in my Developing Executive Presence Masterclass in San Francisco. 20% off code: Women2twenty

Janet Holmgren is an expert public speaker who has addressed audiences on five continents. She is a linguistics scholar and a passionate champion for diversity. Jan served as President of Mills College for 20+ years, and as Vice Provost of Princeton University, where she recently sat on the Board of Trustees. She has served on numerous non-profit, government, corporate and trade association boards, and is currently on the Board of Directors for 3DMX Inc, an international educational technology innovator.