Do You Have the Skill That Makes You Look More Credible, Confident, and Capable?

Want to expand your reach as a leader? Deloitte partner Jennifer Knickerbocker has a tip for you: Become a more confident public speaker.

As you move up as a leader, you’ll eventually make the leap from leading two people to leading 20 (or 200 or even 2,000). You might need to rally a team, convince an organization to embrace change, or inspire a group of people to take action—and when you do, you’ll need to move beyond communicating effectively with individuals and start successfully addressing large groups of people.

To support that increasing responsibility, Knickerbocker, who leads Deloitte’s Global Compliance and Reporting Services practice, says public speaking skills are priceless. It’s an essential skill for any up-and-coming leader whose job requires him or her to influence, persuade, and motivate people—lots of people.

“Done well, public speaking is a way to quickly establish your credibility and communicate with a wide audience, versus communicating one on one,” she says. “Effective speakers are better able to create a followership and build momentum for their messages.”

Mind you, Knickerbocker didn’t start out as an amazing speaker. Far from it, in fact! “I started from a place where I was not being effective,” she explains. “I was often seen as deferential, and therefore, not someone who had valuable opinions.”

In the corporate workplace, confidence is often confused for competence, so Knickerbocker suggests that when you speak up in a way that seems tentative or deferential, you take the power out of your contribution.

Read the rest of my article for The Daily Muse.

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Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is CEO of leadership development, consulting and research firm Be Leaderly. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

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