What is the most important leadershp skill needed for success?

When I talk to clients and potential people that want me to speak to their group, I amazed that the majority of the time, communications is the number one issue. Of recent, presentation skills comes up most frequently and this means one on one or one on many. From speaking to Generation Y to anyone in your life, getting people to buy into you message by focusing on them and not you.

I am just guessing that the Lakers and the Celtics coaches are both accessing what happened to their half time speeches that night.

It took the Boston Celtics 21 years to get back to the N.B.A. finals. On Thursday night, they waited 44 minutes just to take a lead. Once they got it, they refused to let go, and now they stand one victory away from claiming the 17th championship in franchise history. So why the big comeback in yesterdays game?

I’m guessing it was the presentation and acceptance of the “rah rah” win speech at half time. Wouldn’t you just love to be a fly on the wall to find out what was actually said in that presentation. This is why sports plays such a huge part in leadership success stories. There is a ton to be learned from Knute Rockne, to Vince Lombardi and let’s not forget Doc Rivers.

Keys to getting your message to others:

1. Focus on what they want not what you want.

2. Start with a hook. A startling statistics, meaningful quote or something of interest.

3. Keep it short and sweet by making your examples compelling and memorable.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice. The number one reason presentations are ineffective is because of the anxiety of the presenter – and the audience can always tell!

To be a great leader, you don’t have to be a sports hero – you do have to pay attention to your presentation skill. Who has been a memorable presenter in your life?


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One Comment

  1. Noel Posus says:

    Who are the people that stand out as memorable presenters to me?

    Those who are accessing and using their wisdom!

    You’ve given some great points Marsha, and the only thing I might ad to that list is the wisdom to know when and how to communicate in such ways.

    To me, this is a critical part of leadership.

    Although there is debate about how to define wisdom, the brief recipe I use in my work is that it’s a combination of one’s intelligence, experience, self-awareness (including things like emotional and social intelligence) and creativity.

    There are some presenters that you just know are operating from a place of wisdom versus just doing the “techniques” of effective communication.

    These are the ones that truly inspire me.

    And you’re one of them!


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