Communication is not just vital for CEOs and leaders, it’s arguably the most important skill in life.

This excellent article by Steve Tappin makes the point succinctly and well.

There are only 6 points – all are worth taking on board. Especially 1, 2, 4 and 6.



Article begins:

“One of the most important part of the CEOs job is the ability to communicate, and that means public speaking. But it’s not that easy and if you don’t get it right, tension can wonder(sic) and your authority can be questioned.

Some of the worlds most successful CEOs and world experts shared their views on what it takes to lead a multi billion- dollar company. The CEOs and experts we we spoke to were:

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group
Jeannette Nelson, Head of Voice at the National Theatre
Andy Penn, Telstra

So what are some of the most important and fundamental tips for CEOs and leaders when it comes to public speaking?

1/ Recognise that communication is the most important skill for a CEO and leader

Improving your skills in becoming a more confident and authentic communicator is critical in an age where building trust has never been more important.

“Communication is probably the most important skill of the chief executive in the modern world,” Andy Penn, Telstra

2/ Its not just what you say, it’s your voice and presence

Learn ways to connect with your body by breathing and relaxing and pay close attention to the way you stand.

“If we are going to talk about voice then we need to talk about the body because voice is a physical thing. Voice is incredibly personal as it carries your history, and once you start honing in on that people can get defensive and self conscious” Jeannette Nelson, head of voice at the National Theatre

3/ Feel like you are part of the people you are speaking to

Connect to the people in the room through focusing on your breathing and your presence.

“Breathing into the space of the hall – take your breath from the furthest reaches and you send your breath to it. It tells you how much you need to breath, It brings the room to you rather that you having to push” – Jeannette Nelson, head of voice at the National Theatre

4/ Always be authentic

Senior leaders have become very scripted the last few years and have lost their authenticity and what people see as real communication, so it’s important that your words, your message and your body are all in sync together. Then it’s important to also just relax and be yourself.

“The advice I give my children if they are doing public speaking is to just think you are in a living room having a chat, just be yourself. If you are being interviewed and they ask you a question and you don’t know the answer, just tell them you don’t know what they are talking about.People want real people not smooth talkers” – Richard Branson, Virgin Group

5/ Be a great story teller

The best CEO communicators are those that tell a great story

“Storytellers bring a situation to life that have meaning, inspiration and powerful lessons for the listener” – Steve Tappin

6/ Record yourself and get feedback

Even the best most talented public speakers practice practice practice and feedback feedback feedback. Not many people like listening to their voices but the best thing you can do is to record yourself and give yourself feedback and get feedback from others.”

Steve Tappin, CEO Xinfu, CEO Coach 


One of the best ways of letting your authenticity come out to play is not to be scripted. There’s a way of installing all you want to say into your head – and it all comes out in the right order…naturally, clearly and with authenticity. These are some of the key things we focus on in the 1:1 Presentation Intensive.


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You’ll also find it in the book below. To quote the man in the photo, Steve Jobs, “It just works.”


If you liked this blog, maybe take a look at this one too. “Are you more Apple than Google in your presentation style? “