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Coaches Corner

Is There an Inauguration in Your Future?

by Leslie G. Ungar

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Is There an Inauguration in Your Future? Seven Skills You Will Need to Assume a Position of Authority

An inauguration has been defined as a ceremony whereby an individual assumes an office or position of authority or power. Is there an office or a position that you aspire to hold? If we look at the word inauguration as the formal beginning or initiation of any movement or course of action, then we all have inaugurations to look forward to in our own lives.

Of course, we have come to think of an "inaugural address" as the speech given at the ceremony which informs The People of the new president’s intentions as a leader. Abraham Lincoln’s speech was a very important one because he would be speaking not only as the new president but also as the leader of a nation in crisis. He sought help to deliver the right message in his inaugural address.
Lincoln sent drafts of his speech to his closest political advisers for feedback. William H. Seward, the future secretary of state, even contributed the famous conclusion.

Keenly aware of the momentousness of the occasion, Washington accepted the Presidency and spoke of his determination to make the American experiment a success. All eight pages of the speech delivered to the Congress are in George Washington's own clear and distinctive handwriting.

JFK said, as every generation that has followed says in some form, “The world is very different now”. JFK’s inaugural speech has been remembered as much for the content as the tails and silk top hat he wore on that day.

All communication and ceremonial addresses in particular, benefit when the seven C’s of communication are used, and used effectively.

Here’s how to use the Seven C’s of Communication in any important speech:

1. Clarity. I talk about the scalpel of clarity. In his Meet the Press October 2008 interview, Colin Powell demonstrated what talking with clarity sounds like. He took the most complex issues, and answered them in what I refer to as the time it takes to walk across a room. The question about the job of vice-president he answered with a clarity that surprised even veteran political pundits. He said clearly, the only job a vice president has is to be prepared to be president. Do you answer in the time it takes to walk across a room?

2. Confidence. Confidence is defined as a belief in yourself and your abilities. Confidence is not necessarily about drama or a grand stage. The most powerful confidence is an inner confidence.  Do you communicate with the inner confidence to move things forward?

3. Comprehensive. and 4. Concise. The challenge in today’s media world is to speak in a way that is both comprehensive and concise. As you first think about it, it seems as though these are contradictory goals. Whether or not you are actually interviewed in the media, you still live in what I refer to as a soundbite society. Your audience lives in I a soundbite society, they are used to getting their information in the length and complexity of soundbites. What you say will have more value when you master the art of being at once comprehensive yet concise. Did you know you could be both comprehensive and concise?

5. Conviction. What does conviction sound like to you? Although we study and admire Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech, that fire-and-brimstone style was not the communication style MLK used when he was interviewed on national television. Conviction sounds like a quiet, focused, determination. Can you find your balance between professorial and dramatic?

6. Comfort. Early in her career, Heidi Klum decided that it would help her career to not only be a guest on David Letterman, but to be a memorable guest on Letterman. Her desire to be memorable and her willingness to be silly caught the attention of Harvey Weinstein. He contacted her about an idea in its infancy, Project Runway, and the rest is “history”. This show hosted and produced by Heidi Klum, finished Season 5 charging millions of dollars for advertising rights.

Visual is important to any speaker. How comfortable a speaker looks with him/herself becomes an important factor. If the speaker is comfortable, the audience is comfortable. Do you communicate that you are comfortable in your own skin?

7. Charisma. Charisma has been defined as "the ability to develop or inspire in others an ideological commitment to a particular point of view." Often using a story, an anecdote or an analogy is a rhetorical vehicle available to a speaker to inspire an ideological commitment.

When we define inauguration as a ceremony whereby an individual assumes an office or position of authority or power, it is likely there is an inauguration in your future. Now that you are aware of the 7 C’s, implement them in your inaugural address, and all of your public speaking. Remember, in today’s world, public speaking is defined as any speaking outside of your front door.

Our passion is to improve the world, one leader at a time. Leslie G. Ungar, president of Electric Impulse Communications, Inc., coach, speaker, and strategist. In our work we Transform Ordinary Leaders to Extraordinary. Your group would benefit from hearing me in person or you can sign up for my monthly newsletter at www.ElectricImpulse.com | blog:www.electricimpulse.wordpress.com


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