So you managed to survive your office party speech last month. And you've prepared your objectives for the New Year. Great. Because now it's time to get your team ready for the year ahead. Since now it's time for your leadership speech.
Your leadership speech is critical to your team's success.
And your job is to deliver it.
No matter if it's a conference speech, an employee event or in your office. Because your job is to get it done with a flourish.
Therefore you will want to achieve several key points with your leadership speech.
So, to get your plans moving along, here are five essentials for your New Year leadership speech.
Align your organisation with the outside world. Because you want to discuss the big picture. Since that's your job as a business leader.
And you want to do so in a way that's meaningful for your audience. So, make it relevant by referencing the economy as if affects your people.
Is demand growing? From what direction and who will benefit might be solid clues. What do you expect from your competitors this year? Who's going to struggle? Who's innovating?
And What about your suppliers? How solid and consistent are they going to be? Will they be looking to squeeze you or vice-versa?
The big picture needs some big thinking. But it has to be relevant. Therefore, make it so with some good examples, images or stories that engage your loyal audience.
Your business could be going in any direction. Market leader? Market follower? Top ten or top five operators? Innovator or facilitator? Specialist or generic?
Your leadership speech needs to set the direction for the year ahead. So, is the board looking to change direction or keep going on the same route?
Say so, and say so explicitly. Your team isn't meant to be kept guessing. They want to know where they are heading, so they can get on with the tasks ahead.
Set the tone. Your leadership speech should encourage things to happen how you want them to happen, with the right mood and character.
What happens if your team misunderstands the challenge ahead? What might happen if the tone is misinterpreted? You might have a resultant negative culture. Not ideal.
A far better approach would be a tone that's demanding yet encouraging, challenging but rewarding, adventurous. But, not risky.
So how do you do that? First, choose your words carefully. Then, pause for effect. Emphasise key parts of your leadership speech. Then you can give examples and reference key players in your audience. Finally, set the tone.
"Map your objectives. Be clear and consistent. It's your team's job to achieve them in the time frames that you establish.
Your team needs to know their objectives. So map them out. Be clear and consistent. Because, it's their job to achieve them in the realistic time frames that you establish.
No-one wants any surprises. So be up-front and open with the scale of the work ahead. And while you are at it, you also need to set out the priorities.
In a less than ideal world we all want to know that some achievements are more worthwhile than others.
How do you do that? Set out a simple list. Three, four or five key goals. Any more than that and its's going to need a written summary. They should be memorable for a leadership speech. So, repeat the goals a few times, summarise and remember to wrap up at the close with another summary of the main goals.
If your leadership speech is to work then your team must also understand how they are to reach their goals. What support is available?
Yes, you want their skill and brilliance to shine through! But they, in turn, will want some sight of their resources.
What's the plan for headcount, has the recruitment freeze thawed a little? What's the planned advertising spend? And the below the line budget?
How do you do that? Keep to the top level. Show percentage increases in spend, budget or headcount. Show how resources will be re-aligned with a new team or a new project group.
Give some examples and cite some evidence suggesting how these resources will add up to a successful mission. Blood, toil, tears and sweat were the wartime personal resources of Winston Churchill. But your team will want a little bit more than that to get them on top of the job!
"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat"
Winston Churchill, 1940
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