​Executive Speech Writing: The Failure of Nigeria’s 2018 Presidential New Year Address and Lessons for Leaders.

I believe that January 1, 2018, is another day in history! It would be in the record that the Presidential Speech failed Nigerians all over the world.
A simple executive job that could have strengthened the citizenry’s faith in the government, writing a speech, delivering a message of hope; it failed.

This job became the proverbial “colossal mess,” not because the President has an unsmiling face. Do you know that many great speeches are borne from the place of pain, and not necessarily because the bearer was in the best moods? You can look so stern and yet say the most soothing words.

Every new year, month, week or day is yet another chance for leaders to employ the skill of oratory to persuade their followers into a fresh commitment. You have one job as a leader, to harness the commitment and strengths of your followers. To appeal for support is obviously not a simple task.

Most leaders don’t seat in the trenches or bend their backs over farmlands. Leaders no longer go in the front lines charging into the fray of battle. Leaders think, leaders speak and give directives.

Speaking Right Matters in Turbulent Times

The higher the intensity of problems, the better your chances to use words like a soothing balm. The President of Nigeria took the New Year speech rather too lightly, he would never know that he had on that day helped many Nigerians to conclude their votes for the 2019 elections.

So many CEOs, Fathers, Managers and Executive leaders are also rowing a similar boat. The year commenced and your words could make a strong impression on the heart of those following you.

It’s not just about compiling the executive summary or annual reports. This is not the moment to focus excessively on reeling out the numbers. Most of your staff already have a feel of how you performed so far, they can feel the pinch in their late salaries, and they know some extra effort needs to be made to stay solvent. They understand that business must boom in order for their pockets to smile.

How exactly do you convince your team to be their best?

Your executive address, newsletter or memo should have the right corporate and formal tone but should be humane enough to show that you feel pain too.

In my book Write Heart, I shared three qualities of great writers and these qualities must never be missing in the tone and voicing of your speech or address:
1. Elegance.

2. Empathy.

3. Confidence.

The elegance in your words, an ability to connect with your listener’s pain and a confidence that proffers hope are qualities you must internalize.
No matter how stressed you are. Regardless of how high up you are, don’t speak with contempt because you hired your workers. Inspire growth with elegant thoughts, presents the facts with empathy and be confident about your desired results.

 

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