General Tips for Speechmaking

Gaining Visibility for Your Career and Corporation

A friend of mine, Larry Rogers, makes few waves in our social circle. Quiet and unassuming, he has been a member of our group for almost five years.

But I’d bet fewer than a third of our acquaintances would recognize his name on a membership list. Smart? Sure. Successful? Sure, you should take a look at his paycheck. But nobody in our social circle has an inkling. Why? He never says anything. But at work it’s another story. I was conducting an effective writing seminar for a large financial services firm, when the participants’ lunchtime conversation turned to communication skills in general.

“You should hear one of our VPs. Talk about the golden-tongue orator! He has everyone eating out of his hand. He gives speeches for just about every occasion, and audiences just hang on his every word.” “So, who is this guy?” I interrupted the amens of the others.

“Larry Rogers, our corporate lawyer. You know him?” My mouth gaped.

My friend, Larry, who said fewer than 50 words on any given social encounter? Since that time, I’ve learned that on behalf of his company, he frequently addresses Wall Street, gives interviews to the national media, and speaks at corporate board meetings—not to mention the rah-rah speeches of day-to-day internal business.

Evidently, the two “split” personalities and reputations could be attributable to his taking communication skills seriously only on the job. But what a major difference that becomes. Good ideas alone aren’t enough; good ideas are floating around everywhere.

If you don’t believe it, listen to the cabbie who knows a solution to the city’s transportation problems or to the techies who develop new software programs. But if you never get great ideas to the right people, what good do they do? Ideas are only good if they can be communicated.

Speechmaking catapults a professional to the forefront of his or her career, and speechmaking confirms success. For the business person who aspires to motivate people, lead organizations, sell ideas, inspire creativity, and deliver quality, communication becomes everything.

Nothing can light a fire in your career path or your corporation’s profit-and-loss statement like the visibility gained through speechmaking. Think message. Think audience. Think results.

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