There are many facets to good public speaking that are applicable to a good Manager’s abilities. One of the basic tenets of public speaking is that no matter how much you read about it, the only way to make it work is to get your hands dirty by actually indulging in the activity. We often hear the reasoning – no good in reading about swimming unless one actually gets into the water! The same theory would apply to Management. No matter how much we read about it, plan for the way that one would want to implement their strategy and read numerous books on it, it is only when one is thrown into the pool of Management does one learn how to ride the tide!
Public speaking calls for the speaker to focus on what he/ she is talking about and not bother too much about the impression that looks or the surroundings are having on the listeners’ mind. Stage fright is best conquered when the mind focusses on the subject rather than on worries about whether the self is attired as per “expectations”. Managers do their best job when they focus on the tasks at hand and ensuring that the task is accomplished. Focus on what is necessary and fade out that which is not relevant to the the job. Good Managers are always able to rummage through a mess and find what they need. This is not because they have special vision or eye sight, it is to do with the mindset – the ability to focus on the end goal.
Adaptability is another skill that a public speaker boasts of. One of the best speakers that I have seen had this innate and wonderful ability to simply adapt to the situation at hand and to the audience he was confronted with. On one occasion, the projector of the slides that he had planned to use was not working. He turned to the chalk board but there was no chalk to be found. Most speakers would have been quite unnerved with this lack of the toolset to provide an effective speech – even the mike was not working well enough for him to be able to speak clearly for any stretch of time. He took it all in his stride. Displaying amazing steel and grit, he shrugged off the setbacks, thought on his feet and spoke using just his hands to draw models, captivating us seated in the audience thus! That speech was easily better than any other mundane speech that is done with the help of all the paraphernalia that accompanies modern day speakers. He was able to accomplish the quality by showing the willingness to adapt in the face of unexpected difficulties. Managers need to show these very skills. Adaptability and the willingness to change as per the requirements of the organization are absolutely essential. A rigid Manager can not gain the following of his/ her team and will struggle to achieve the goals of the team.
As a Manager, it is expected that the individual be able to drive a team towards its logical goal. Apart from the skills of a public speaker, the Manager has to be able to command a good audience for his/ her thoughts when the need arises. The ability to communicate and draw a following towards the combined vision of the team is critical for his and the organization’s success.