Communication & Leadership

with Peggy Klaus

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There is not a one-size-fits-all for good communication.

Peggy Klaus

Communications & Leadership Guru

Lessons Learned

Bring knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm to your communication.

A good communicator respects her/his audience and actively listens.

Keep authenticity for who you are while framing message for relate-ability to audience.


Lesson: Communication & Leadership with Peggy Klaus

Step #5 Communication: There is not a one-size-fits-all for good communication

What I love about communicating is that there is not one-size-fits-all, that we all have different strengths and different weaknesses. What we bring to our communication is so different.

So I would never coach anyone to do it exactly like a colleague or a boss or a boss's boss. First of all, it's a lesson in futility because they can never be that person and you wouldn't want them to be. It would be someone that they're not. So, that's first of all. Again, I go back to knowing who you are and knowing what you bring to whatever position you're in or the situation. So what do you bring as a good communicator.

The specifics that I would say are someone who brings not only a knowledge of their particular subject matter but someone who is passionate about it, who brings an energy, an enthusiasm, who is inspirational because of that, who is delighted to be in front of their audience. Someone who, no matter how they feel inside, whether their nerves are wreaking havoc with them or whether they haven't slept the night before or they've been in a fight with their partner, they show up as their best self.

A good communicator is someone who also really respects their audience and who listens, actively listens and who asks questions, who is curious. Someone who, again, will say, "You know? I don't know, but that's a really interesting point and I'm going to go check it out."

I think, lastly, a good communicator is someone who can be what I call "a chameleon". They are able to frame their message to a variety of audiences and have that audience completely understand what it is that they're talking about, and feel that that speaker really relates to them, while that speaker keeps that authenticity of who she or he is.

The "Wonder Woman pose" is to get yourself pumped and in that zone of, "I own this room. I am the CEO. I can't wait to tell you. I am the expert." So, the physicalization that often comes when we get nervous is the concave, the slouching, the orangutan shoulders, the eyes looking down at the floor. So in order to avert that, the Wonder Woman pose . . . Now, I don't mean for you to take that pose once you're in there, but for your gestures to become very fluid and very natural.

There are schools of presentation coaches who have 25 dos and don'ts, such as, "Never cross your arms in front of your chest. Never put them on your hips. Don't put them in front of your crotch. Don't put them behind your back. When you are giving a presentation, draw an imaginary triangle around your legs and never step out of that. When you're doing a PowerPoint, you do the three T's, you touch, turn and talk."

This is what I call "communication caca" because what it does is . . . You worry so much about, "Did I do this? Did I not do this?" that you lose your authentic self. You lose that passion, that delight being in front of the audience and you become very stilted.

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