Most company CEOs and managing directors are comfortable and confident in their speaking and writing abilities. Indeed having the ‘gift of the gab’ is often one of the ways leading personalities to distinguish themselves from their contemporaries. However, when the going gets tough in company life, and there are tricky discussions to be had, or complicated statements which need to be delivered, even the best leaders can find themselves tongue-tied.

Unfortunately, there is no stock of ‘magic words’ which leaders can drop into discussion to instantly develop their leadership language. However, as is often the case, communication under pressure is less about what you say, and more about how you say it. Here are some top tips to keeping your verbal communications confident and clear, even in challenging situations.

Be prepared

Often, the situations where we struggle to communicate the most are those sprung on us unexpectedly. In these situations, remaining calm and civil is essential, combined with the ability to improvise.

However, if a difficult conversation is coming up in your schedule, don’t postpone your preparations. If you’re feeling apprehensive, set aside some time to plan what is essential for you to express in your next discussion. With a clear grasp on the situation, you’ll find it much easier to make it through those difficult negotiations.

Tone and body language

It’s easy to get caught up in the ins and outs of conversation and lose track of both your tone and body language. A huge percentage of others’ perceptions of you will come from how you conduct yourself physically. Make sure that your body language is relaxed but confident. This takes the pressure out of stressful communication situations both for yourself and those around you.

It’s similarly important to stay aware of your tone. Whilst it’s great to feel passionate about and involved with your organisation, in stressful situations, if your emotions get carried away you might find yourself doing more harm than good. Keeping your emotions in check during important moments takes practice, but it can help keep your communications clear and gives others confidence in your words.

We at Anthony Gregg are retail industry leadership experts. Whether you’re looking to take a step forward in your career as a company leader, or your organisation needs a leadership boost, get in touch today to discover how our custom services can take your leadership to the next level.

Project (R)evolution Conference, 2012 – with Alec Ross and Emily Banks by US Embassy New Zealand licensed under Creative commons 6