Master Your Message Blog

Presenting Persuasively in an Angry World

microphone-webIt’s more important than ever before to listen intently to your audience. The anxiety level amongst employees and the public in general is at an all time high. With good reason.

The disparity is compensation is, in many cases, disturbing. Prices continue to rise; salaries to stagnate. The complexity in the world today is overwhelming—new apps to learn, seemingly every day. Breakdowns involving technology require entire teams to sort out and are expensive.

Politicians are talking over the heads of most of us, seemingly oblivious to the real needs of their voters. Self-interest influences major decisions. Crime is on the rise. You can’t safely open your email without tripping over the scam of the day.

Weather is severe just about everywhere. Countries are invading one another; war appears inevitable. The seemingly unending promises of a better economy are getting tiring. Most are coming around to the truth. Mistrust is everywhere.

Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.”

Is it any wonder that people are anxious and unsettled? They’re far more apt to react negatively to additional change. “Enough is enough!”

This is the environment you’re stepping into as you hit the stage. It may be time to assess your trust bank—the trust you’ve built up over your years of leadership—you’re going to need it. The economy is likely to get a lot worse.

Increasingly, leaders are going to be faced with the task of handling fear in the workplace.

There is no good fear; it’s a fight, flight, or freeze scenario. Fear can be downright debilitating; it simply makes matters a lot worse. This is the environment that will separate true leaders from the rest.

As a leader, you’ll be called on more and more to display a clear vision of the road forward, along with transparency designed to build trust. You’ve got to be an excellent listener, with a good dose of patience and understanding. It will be important to truly understand your audience’s concerns and address them—the key influencing them.

 Are you up to the task?

Having and communicating a clear corporate vision is key. It can have a very calming effect. It must come right from the top and supported at secondary levels. As the leader, you must “walk the talk.” Constancy in time of insecurity is critical.

Communication, openness, and the ability to listen and respond will stand you in good stead. The rumour mill is what will undermine you. Don’t let it get started.

Exceptional leaders are great communicators. It’s your time to shine!


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