Executive communication is learned. This clearly was on display at a recent health care forum with multiple speakers addressing a conference room full of executives. Of all the speakers, only one stood out. As these speakers were judged against one another, so too are CEOs—regardless of industry and company size. When employees and investors consider companies in which to invest their time and treasure, CEOs' executive communication skills shape perception and action.
It's likely most CEOs and leaders understand whether they are strong, weak, or somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to executive communication. What's less clear is whether CEOs take advantage of technology to improve their executive communication skills by watching the equivalent of game film of their competition.
Do CEOs search YouTube for examples of executive communication? Do CEOs realize their executive communication directly impacts their perceived leadership strength? Do CEOs correlate executive communication with the ability to recruit and retain talent? CEOs at larger corporations likely realize this and invest time in honing their skills. Many middle-market CEOs, however, might not realize the best talent in their area, for example, compares them to their higher profile peers at larger corporations.
If CEOs don't know how they stack up, they would benefit from knowing. If corporate boards and even nonprofit boards seek to achieve their goals, they would do well to direct their executives to hone their executive communications skills. Every organization competes with others—regardless of segment—for talent, time and treasure.
Below we've assembled some executive communication tips based on our experience observing presentations. And, we've included some video and article links to resources for leaders to improve their executive communication. These include presentations from Manpower Executive Chairman Jeff Joerres at Marquette University's The Difference Network to Hubspot's many resources on communication related topics.
Executive communication tips