Jim Gray is a leading speaker, communications skills coach, and media strategist. The author of How Leaders Speak, he specializes in preparing individuals, startups, and established organizations to pitch effectively for new business and funding. Jim is an executive-in-residence at Ryerson Universityâ€™s Digital Media Zone, where he serves as in-house pitch coach. He lives in Toronto.
How Leaders Speak
Senior executives, professionals, politicians, entrepreneurs, and educators are increasingly being evaluated by how well they speak - how credibly, how naturally, and how enthusiastically. Theyâ€™re being judged on their presentation skills. In todayâ€™s communication-saturated age, the ability to address others effectively has become the essential mark of a leader.
How Leaders Speak covers the seven keys to speaking like a leader: preparation, certainty, passion, engagement, and commitment. Itâ€™s a personal handbook for planning and conveying presentations that will engage and inspire others, from overcoming nervousness to handling difficult questions from listeners.
How Leaders Speak: Getting Ready to Present:
- Know Your Audience
- Find and Create The Nugget (something your audience doesnt know)
- Make a Video Rehearsing your Presentation
- Be Prepared for Anything
- Donâ€™t Rely on PowerPoint (have a print out as well )
- Test your Technology
- Have a Checklist of Materials Before You Leave the Office
- Pre-Presentation Jitters are a Good Thing!
- Know Your Environment Beforehand (schedule a run through the day before)
- Eat and Drink Lightly Just Before Your Presentation
How Leaders Speak: During Your Speech
- Have Water Handy
- Keep Language Short and Simple
- Have Your Speech Printed at the Top of Your Page To Keep Eye Contact Connected
- Most Nervousness Doesnt Show
- Draw in Your Audience Via Names and Anecdotal Info
- Ask Questions to Involve Your Audience (and to Relieve Pressure)
- Speak with Passion!
"[Jim Gray] covers all the essential elements of presentations, no doubt with some tips that will help you to be more effective."
"Grays book is a succinct and easy read. I found that even his most basic principles reinforced my own confidence, and have already seen terrific improvement, though the butterflies always make their pre-speech cameo."