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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

The Authentic Presenter

Establishing credibility is fundamental to leadership. As we have discussed, leaders affirm their believability through the content of their leaership messages. Vocalization of the message also plays a role; in other words, the way you look and sound as you present is critical to your credibility (see Figure 8-1). Emerging leaders often ask their speech coaches or trusted advisers how they should present. The answer most often given is, "Be yourself!" This is the correct answer, but it doesn't tell the whole story. The leader must be him- or herself on stage or in a coaching session, but he or she may also need to do more. Here are some suggestions:

Effective leadership communicators need not be polished orators. Winston Churchill was an accomplished master of the art form, but Katherine Graham had to force herself to become a public speaker. Both, however, radiated conviction in their communications.


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