Posts Tagged ‘CEO speeches’

Keynote Speeches in the Social Media Age

ragan_logo_blueAfter I was on a panel with Karen Bate (PR guru and social media consultant), we got to talking about writing an article on how speechwriters could make better use of the impact of social media. We approached the folks at the Ragan Communications‘ website, and they were interested. Karen’s and my effort just appeared on the Ragan home page. Take a look. I think you’ll find some interesting tips on how speechwriters can incorporate social media into the speeches (especially keynotes) they write.

The Company’s Reputation: What the CEO Says Matters

what ceo must doWhile modern CEOs have always played a critical role in establishing a company’s reputation, recent research indicates that role has become more important than ever. An in-depth survey by global public relations firm Weber Shandwick and KRC Research found that  66% of consumers say their perceptions of CEOs affect their opinions of companies and the products they sell. Executives themselves attribute nearly one-half of a company’s reputation to the CEO’s reputation.

Leslie Gaines-Ross, Chief Reputation Strategist, for Weber Shandwick recently wrote, “Our research found that nearly three in 10 global consumers often talk about company leaders with others and twice as many say their opinions about companies are influenced by what these executives communicate.” The implication: “Getting executive messaging into consumers’ conversations helps shape corporate reputation and consequently, a company’s bottom line.”

While Gaines-Ross stresses the need for executives to use social media to get their messages out, I think these survey results also show that top executives’ speeches, talks and presentations are more important than ever. When audiences hear a CEO speak, they form an instant impression of the leader and his or her company. A good speech not only conveys a vision, it humanizes the leader and the company.

And, of course, in the Internet Age, the impact of a terrific speech is not limited to the audience in the hall—especially when it is put on video. As Ross-Gaines notes, “Video, unlike most traditional communications, allows CEOs to show emotion and nuance.”  In fact, she says, with so many top CEOs already using video on their corporate websites or YouTube channels, “video may soon become the default channel for executive storytelling.”

To Be an Effective Tech Company CEO…

what ceo must doIn a recent post on, Rob Enderle — president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group — offers a basic set of rules that CEOs should follow based on the best practices of their peers.

CEOs can learn a lot from every one of  the rules outlined in 7 Habits of Highly Effective Tech CEOs. Two in particular caught my speechwriter’s eye.

Rule #4 is: “Communicate a Clear Vision.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. And I really liked Enderle’s commentary: Having a vision that customers, employees and investors can understand is as critical to success as a navigator is to a ship traveling long distances.

He concludes with, “Above All, Never Forget You’re the Face of the Company.” As he says, The last key skill for any CEO is realizing that she’s the face of the company. .. A lot of CEOs don’t make the switch from superstar to diplomat, from personal cheerleader to company avatar.

I would add only that CEOs often arrive at the top job without much experience or training in being the public face of an organization. The successful ones go to work  immediately with their communication teams to learn how to convey vision and direction to key internal and external audiences.


The Art of the Spoken Word: June 7 Panel, Arlington Chamber of Commerce

Arlington chamber logoSave the Date!

I’m excited to be part of a terrific panel, Back Basics: The Art of the Spoken Word, sponsored by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Four of us panel members will share some advice about best practices for using the spoken word to build your business  and advance your career. We will discuss some of the many different ways to use the spoken word to your advantage — from presentations and sales pitches, to managing meetings, to the value of video and podcasts to promote your business online.

The panel will be moderated by Jan Day Gravel Founder and Managing Director, Janus Development Group. Joining me  will be

Karen Bate (@KBConceptsPR) has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit and corporate communications and early training as a journalist. She brings to the panel her expert knowledge in utilizing the spoken word through online video – particularly through social media. She is the founder and president of KB Concepts P.R.

Jan Fox (@JanFoxTalks) was a reporter and anchor at WUSA TV 9 for almost 20 years. She won three Emmys for her work in DC and another for an ABC talk show in Boston. She eventually started her own speaking/coaching business called Fox Talks. She currently serves on the board of the National Speakers Association, Washington DC Chapter.

Charles Greene III (@CharlesGreene3) has presented in fifteen different countries on five continents. For more than 25 years, he’s delivered corporate messages with customized “magical” presentations,” dividing his time between leading public speaking workshops and presenting product messages at trade shows.

Click here to register.

First, the Bad News

ragan_logo_blueThanks to the great people at for asking me to blog about ways CEOs can make gloomy presentations less painful for their employees and less difficult for themselves.

Tip number three: Remember, this is about them, not about you!

For more, click here.