icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-email icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-print icon-rss icon-search icon-stumbleupon icon-twitter icon-arrow-right icon-user Skip to content
Senior Correspondent

Leading is more difficult if you can’t speak well.

Speaking ability enhances leadership potential. Public platforms provide opportunities to shape, direct and motivate organizations.

Be as smart as this student:

Holly said she wasn’t excited about the presentations she was giving this semester. I followed up, “Do you have a speech class?”

She replied, “No, my instructors just want presentations. I’m not comfortable but need it. I plan to enter management. When I graduate I’ll be leading meetings and giving presentations.”

3 public speaking tips:

  1. Audience determines content and style, not you. Use one strategy for two-year-olds and another for the management team.
  2. Tell people what they need to hear not what you need to say. You may focus too much on facts and figures and not enough on feelings.
  3. Be personal. Don’t use names but look at and speak to individuals, even if the group is large.

Propelled to new levels:

Learn from famous mentors.

Radio talk show hosts can enhance your speaking style. I started copying their style while driving. I probably looked like a whacko to other drivers. Yes, I listen and then try reproducing their speech!

It’s amazing how much energy radio personalities put into speaking. They taught me diction, rate and punch.

Additionally, learn from TV communicators.

Copy the most successful, not the obscure.

Watching and listening is not enough:

The light came on when I literally copied them, not until. Try it. My wife laughs when I copy TV game show hosts.


The goal is learning techniques not becoming clones. Grab techniques that enhance rather than obscuring you.


What public speaking techniques enhance your communication?



Here are eight public speaking tips from James Quigley, former global CEO of Deloitte, the largest private professional services firm on earth:

#7. Be yourself – authentic speakers connect. More

Stay Up to Date

Sign up for articles by Dan Rockwell and other Senior Correspondents.

Latest Stories

Choosing Senior Living
Love Old Journalists

Our Mission

To amplify the voices of older adults for the good of society

Learn More