Why leaders need persuasive public speaking skills

Why good public speaking skills make you a better leader

November 11, 2016

Do your public speaking skills inspire, motivate and influence others?

They should.

Many leaders are nervous of public speaking. Some even avoid it.

According to Forbes magazine:

20 per cent of business leaders say they would do anything to avoid giving a presentation.
Yet, 70 per cent agree that presentation skills are critical for career success.


Outstanding public speaking skills have elevated people to power.

When Martin Luther King Jr delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, he called for an end to racism.

This speech was a defining moment. King was soon named Man of the Year by TIME Magazine for 1963. In 1964, he became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Like King, you can grow your influence, authority and career prospects by improving your public speaking.


Five reasons why being a better public speaker is essential for a business leader


1. You get followed

2. You create connections

3. You unite people

4. You drive change

5.  You win hearts and minds



1 You can be a leader that people follow

Do you want to have authority and be the person that others will follow? 

Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne argues that companies need  recognisable leaders.  He said, “it is vital for the top man or woman to be visible internally and externally.”

If you are more visible, your authority increases.  When you put yourself forward to speak, you begin be seen as a leader. And because of your visibility, your name will come up when others are looking for those to head new opportunities and projects.

By speaking publicly, you will also be seen as trustworthy and able to perform under pressure. New, perhaps lucrative, opportunities will come your way as a result. You can make yourself a leader that people want to follow.
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2. You create connections with people

What are the most desired qualities for leaders in business? Do your skills match what your workforce expects of you?

A 2016 survey of professionals in Scotland by Regus found that communication skills are seen as the most important for leaders.

People respond best to leaders they can connect with on a human level; people ‘get’ other people.

If you learn how to be passionate and vulnerable at the right moments, you help others to relate to you.

Among the most quoted lines of King’s defining speech is: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” King knew that sharing his own personal stories would result in him gaining empathy, resulting in warmth and trust.

Sharing a little bit about who you are can go a long way towards connecting you with your audience and encouraging others to follow your ideas.



3. You can unite people behind a clear message

Inspiring speakers, like Steve Jobs, know exactly what message they want to achieve through their communications.

He said, ”That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Laying a firm foundation for your presentation will help you achieve a clear message, like Jobs. And learning how to filter a topic for your audience will enable you to deliver a narrative that focuses your communication.

The power of King’s message came from his ‘dream’ narrative. He referenced the power of dreams during his speech while also invoking important documents in American history, including the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution. This message proved so powerful that it is still widely empathised with, and talked about, around the world some 50 years later.
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4. You can drive positive changes

What would you like to change about the culture of your organisation? Do you want to improve productivity?

A 2015 survey of 1,400 North American CEOs found that 90% agreed culture was important at their firms. 92% said they believed improving their firm’s corporate culture would improve the value of the company. Yet only 15% said their firm’s corporate culture was where it needed to be.

The more people you can connect with, the more change you can implement.  In the words of Margaret Thatcher, “Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.”

People are more likely to be influenced by a person speaking in front of them than by an email.

So imagine the change you can drive with powerful public speaking skills when all those people gather together in a single audience.



5. You’ll win hearts and minds

Lastly, the public nature of presenting means that all eyes are on you, the speaker, in a way that doesn’t happen often.

Every product launch, internal restructure or political election starts with a public speech from a leader.

Bill Gates once said, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

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Public speaking is your opportunity to win hearts and minds.

A good public speech can successfully launch a revolutionary scientific breakthrough. It can inspire people to break down the barriers of what was previously thought possible. It can help find new ways to save money and make processes more efficient.

Every business leader has the power to influence their colleagues, industry or sector – and further enhance their own career prospects – through having the public speaking skills to deliver powerful presentations.

Seth Godin, bestselling author, entrepreneur, marketer and public speaker says, “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”

Make people follow you. Bring them closer to your objectives. Become a more effective communicator. Do that, or risk being left behind.


Start your journey to world-class public speaking skills now

Download free ebook leadership communications


Improve my leadership public speaking skills

About Benjamin Ball Associates

Every day, we help leaders and aspiring leaders to become better communicators by improving their public speaking skills.

We transform people into effective speakers within just a few hours of coaching.

We cover the whole process of talks, presentations and speeches including: preparing, structuring, and crafting a narrative; using language, stories and visual aids effectively; connecting with an audience and delivering with impact.

Each of our trainers has over 10 years’ experience working with CEOs and senior executives at blue-chip clients in the UK and internationally.

Our clients include Microsoft, HSBC, The Prince’s Trust and many small organisations, too. They recommend us highly – 80% of our new business comes from referrals.


Start Improving Your Public Speaking Skills Today



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1. Improve Your Investor Pitch

2. Public Speaking Coaching

3. Presentation Coaching

4. Media Training

5. Prepare your AGM

N.B. All our coaching is currently via Zoom.

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What Our Clients Say

“BBA transformed our pitch into a compelling investment narrative. They undoubtedly helped us secure Sky TV as an investor.”

Gerry Bastable  Director, Blast Films

“The new presentation properly represents the institutional quality of our fund. It has been a step change for us.”

Erwin de Kleijn Head of IR, Saemor Capital

“We were very pleased…[BBA]  helped us define and explain our unique value proposition. As a result we have attracted new and different investors.”

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