A speech is one of the most powerful ways for leaders to advance their organization’s success.
Leaders give a lot of speeches, presentations, informal talks, and interviews. Sometimes they speak too often and, as a result, dilute their message.
The speeches that leaders give should align with their three primary responsibilities:
1) To Advance the Mission, Vision, and Values of their Organization
Leaders help their organization formulate, promote, and achieve their mission (what we do/hope to accomplish), vision (where we are headed), and values (the principles and ethical standards that inform what we do).
2) To Promote the Vitality of their Organization
Leaders tend to the internal workings of their organization to promote its ongoing health. They know that focusing exclusively on getting the work done can, ultimately, lead to the organizations’ dissolution.
3) To Contribute to the Welfare of the Community/World at Large
Organizations thrive in the long run not only by doing well (achieving their goals), but also by doing good (benefiting their members, their customers/clients, and society/the environment).
Here’s the question leaders should ask when given the opportunity to speak:
Will this speech to this audience, at this time, in this venue promote my organization’s mission/vision/values, its vitality, and/or the community/world we live in?
Effective leaders know when to give a speech and, just as importantly, when not to give one.