How to Become a Better Leader and Public Speaker?

Just crazy Sunday. After "Night of Inspiration", where we have watched great inspirational movies, like Forest Gump, in the cinema, I went to the training about leadership. We discussed and tried to figure out several questions like:
  • What skills will we need to become leaders in an increasingly global world? 
  • How can we prepare ourselves for global leadership opportunities? 
  • How to become an effective leader and how to get what you want?
Sam Potolicchio, the speaker
The speaker was Sam Potolicchio, Georgetown University Professor, one of 300 Best Professors of America according to Princeton Review. The event was organized by Alumni Resource Center in cooperation with American Councils for International Education. And as far as I know, Alina Beskrovna was the person, who initiated his visit to Ukraine and I really thanks her for this.

So, I have got several points from Sam, which would like to share here with you.
  • It is necessary to get a personal contact with every person in the room (even if there are like 50 people). Eye contact is extremely important. We have talking a lot about body language, watched several videos on Youtube of famous politicians (Americans) and tried to analyze them from perspective of a leader and public speaker. One video was recommended to watch in additional. This is Amy Cuddy's video on the topic Your body language shapes who you are. As a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School she did really great job and I highly encourage you to watch the video below.

  • Avoid to use and keep a cell phone during the speech. Because the audience may understand and think that you consider more about other deal, is looking for someone call or e-mail. As result, general outcomes of your speech will not be as good as you would get.
  • Look at your strenghts. You should not put yourself in the same comparison as a previous speaker, especially if previous speaker was better. You have to understand what is your stenghts and weaknesses. Then based on this understanding to build and prepare your speech. That is really important during debates.
  • Build up a reputation as a very good speaker in advance. Oftenduring the speech you may do some mistakes. And if audience percept you as a good speaker, they will not pay attention on this. But if they see you first time and you do a huge mistake, it is very hard to rebuild your reputation. You have to be a human, rather than to be a stupid.
  • People need more human leaders. You can't get in touch with people unless you reach them emotionally. We have watched several videos with Obama, when he was singing the song, crying, laughing and making jokes on himself. To be natural, to be humam - that is another important point. In XXI century people do not want to see robots, leaders, who are so far from them. They want to see leaders, who are close to them, whom they can understand. When you are emotional you may reach people emotional and then inspire them for taking action.
Sam gave us several recommendations how to become a better leader for tomorrow:

First, learn from others. Learn their stories. You have to try to get three stories from different people every day in order to be a great story-teller. Yes, all great leaders are great story-tellers. Stories are important, because they are effective and make people willing to listen to you. Just compare: "I'll give you a lecture" vs. "I'll tell you a story". Which part you would be interested more?
Second, use a humor, make jokes, when you speak. It gives you more credibility. People are willing to trust you more. It makes you more empathetic speaker. Humor is also a great ice-breaker. Make a joke: you are smiling and people are smiling. 
Third, read three books every week. The one from novel style, the second is biography and the third from the field, in which you do not know anything.
Fourth, use online resources to upgrade your education and knowledge. You have Youtube University, Coursera, iTunes University, online cources from Harvard, Princeton, Yale Universities,, etc. Just knok the button and learn more about the world. 

To sum up, I have to say it was very useful five hours. I got answers on several questions, and learnt a lot personally. Despite the fact I did not sleep last night, Sunday was a great day and I proud to live a life in such way. In the evening I did good preparation for tomorrow exam for Theory of International Economy class with my friend Mykola. And one more time realized: together we can do more. Eventually met with my friend Vasyl, who came from Norway. 

Leadership is all about communication. In order to be a better leader and public speaker you have to learn and know more than others. That gives you the right to lead people. And people will follow you. Because they will trust you. 


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