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September 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Building a Corporate Communication Strategy

The Ultimate Guide to Building a Corporate Communication Strategy 1920 1144 VP Legacies

Corporate communication issues are not a rare problem. In fact, the cost of poor communication in businesses has globally reached over $37 billion per year. That’s a substantial problem to have.

So what’s the solution?

Communication strategies litter the internet, but few of them are actual lucrative solutions. Fixing a corporate communication issue is not a quick or simple process– it takes research, strategy, and time.

If you’re looking for an in-depth guide to addressing and solving communication issues in a business, you’re in luck. We put together a guide to building a corporate communication strategy to suit your own business, so you can reach your communication goals.

There are several aspects of building a core corporate communication strategy: Pre-drafting information and research, actually creating the strategy, and taking the time to examine examples of excellent communication strategies for inspiration and further research.

How to Build a Core Strategy for Communication

These steps should be considered regardless of your corporation’s industry:

1. Identify and prioritize your business executives’ key goals

Start this step by understanding what each executive in your company sees in the company’s future, and what they’re really invested in. The best way to discover and collect this information is by conducting individual interviews with as many of your top-level management as possible, as well as the C-Suite. Ask these executives to clearly identify their top priorities for the next year and take the time to make sure everyone is in sound agreement as to the message they want to put out.

2. Conduct in-depth employee surveys

Your business’ employees are at the forefront of your company and are the backbone of the business as a whole. Their perception of the company and your brand is key to how others perceive your brand. This is also how brand ambassadors are made. When developing an effective corporate communications strategy, you will need to make sure that this group’s voices are heard. Their responses will ultimately dictate the best way to communicate with them as a whole. Take advantage of surveys to get employees involved and get their feedback.

3. Research your stakeholders’ input

If stakeholders, shareholders, and investors are communicating something that isn’t very confident or exciting for your business’ success and upcoming plans, the communications strategy you create must fix that perception as quickly as possible. Stakeholders are absolutely the most vital part of your business, and it is very important to communicate with them in a way that is most effective for their interests.

4. Review your established customers’ comments

Take full advantage of all of the (often free) online measurement tools available to take an inside look into your customers’ perception of how your business is delivering on promises. Take advantage of social media networks to not only take advantage of social listening and research, but also to start the right conversations that get consumers and potential customers talking about your brand in a positive way.

5. Include your suppliers in your research

Suppliers that work with your business should also be brought into the mix when gathering information for your strategic corporate messaging. Do your suppliers believe that being affiliated with your business is beneficial to their own business? If the answer is yes, you’re in the clear– but ask them what they are enjoying the most about working with your company. Use that valuable feedback to not only add structure to your vendor and supplier relationships but also to use as part of your corporate communication strategy.

All of this research and interviewing processes are incredibly valuable. With these new insights into what your employees, executives, suppliers, and stakeholders want and prefer, you now know what your corporate communications strategy needs to set out to do– and where it will really fit in the broader framework of the company.

Next Steps

The next step would be to build an essential “roadmap” of the strategy. Before you jump into the diagnosis and guiding policies, you’ll need to figure out how to arrive at these concepts. Ask yourself: What are the biggest problems that the strategy will ultimately diagnose and hopefully cure? Who is going to be the ultimate deciding factor in establishing this diagnosis? Will everyone who needs to agree, actually agree on the strategy or “treatment”?

For smaller brands and corporations, this is often easy to do. For bigger companies, it can be a bit more complicated.

Executives on the C-level as well as the board level should be motivated but also challenged by your business’ corporate communication team to make good use of the vision for the purpose of management. The vision, in this sense, shouldn’t be a mess– it needs to be solidified and sensible. This is the responsibility of all of your executives as a team. If your executives are focused mainly on one goal, then it is partly their responsibility to form a solid vision. Once this is accomplished, the business’ corporate communication team can deliver that solid communication that is needed.

These tips may not be ideal for all businesses but are worth considering when drafting your strategy.

1. Look at other corporate communication strategies online from successful businesses

Man looking at his phone and computer at VP Legacies

It may be worth looking at some examples of excellent communication strategies in order to get inspired or possibly use their strategy as a starting template. Keep in mind that communication problems are often very unique to their specific company– using a carbon copy plan will definitely not work and the research will still need to be done.

2. Identify what your key metrics are in order to track for the best outcome

Just like most other aspects of your company, your internal communication strategy can and should be thoroughly analyzed for success. To do this, you will need to gather the basic key metrics that can show you if your current strategy is actually working the way it should. Statistics found around your corporate communications can show you if your employees actually use your intranet or other communication tools provided.

This research also shows how employees are using your tools and if you’re able to reach them in the process. This ultimately means you can pick apart your strategy and learn more about what aspects and areas need more strategic attention and what can be let go as a whole. If you’re a startup without an established corporate communication strategy, then this doesn’t apply to you.

3. Set goals that make sense and are realistic, as well as timelines

Pad of paper with random words highlighted

Setting realistic goals that make sense for your company will help you properly and accurately estimate the level of difficulty and projected time investment of integrating and establishing your strategy. This way, you can make more efficient and worthwhile steps closer to updating your corporate communications effectively. You can do this by looking at the previous metrics and making notes of where you think you can make an instant impact through attentive change.

When it comes to timelines, they should be effective. You could try to conduct surveys to see what information or data is too excessive and unnecessary for the business. Ask questions like:

  • What do I want my internal communications strategy to do for my business?
  • Which areas are working efficiently, why are those areas working efficiently, and what needs immediate improvement?
  • How quickly do I want to reach my business goals for the company?
  • What communication tools, platforms, and strategies are available given my organization’s size, needs, and goals for what employees should be doing?

Whatever answers you get can make it much clearer what your corporate communications strategy is supposed to actually accomplish. These goals can be a sort of blueprint if you will.

People sitting at desk talking in an office at VP Legacies

Obviously, there is a need for a corporate communications strategy because internal relationships and personal connections are important for a business to run smoothly. One way you can create improved internal communications is by remembering and actively practicing this mantra: Be with someone, not their problem. This approach tends to put more of an emphasis on the business relationship and personal connection as an organic living thing– a good relationship involves being present, listening, and wanting to maintain a connection. When a personal connection is established, it becomes much easier to resolve conflicts between employees or executives and avoid them altogether.

The real goal of corporate communications strategies is to make miscommunication between all members of an enterprise virtually non-existent.

4. Use collaboration tools and actively encourage their use

If you’re juggling way too many projects within a team that has a significant amount of team members, just using email for communication isn’t always the most effective thing to do. Luckily, there is quite a massive amount of collaboration tools out there that are useful, effective, and relatively inexpensive. Some collaboration tools to consider implementing into your strategy include Trello, Slack, Asana, Flowdock, WebEx, Dapulse, ProofHub, and Redbooth to name a few.

It may even improve employee communication even more by completely removing email as a means of corporate correspondence. Using a collaboration tool of the digital workspace may be the better mode of communication that serves as a “one-stop dashboard” for all communication needs. A couple of popular digital workspaces include Microsoft Teams, RingCentral Glip, Beekeeper, FWI, and Interact Software.

Related: What is the Best Strategy for CEO Communication?

5. Actively participate in your teams– even if you’re the CEO

People sitting and talking in an office at VP Legacies

6. Align your corporate communications strategy to goals and metrics

This is definitely easier to do naturally in small businesses, where it is easy to know the entire team personally. In bigger companies, this can be a bit tougher to successfully do. Still, a part of your corporate communication strategy should include your own responsibility to communicate effectively with the whole of your company. The best way to improve success rates is to be a part of the team yourself. Nobody is really interested in listening to the man or woman in the ivory tower, especially when we’re looking at tech companies. You will not be able to effectively communicate with your employees or build any rapport by avoiding them like the plague. Learn how your executives and colleagues communicate with one another and try your best to adapt to that style of communication. It is definitely possible to maintain your authority and communicate effectively with your company’s backbone at the same time.

7. Align your corporate communications strategy to goals and metrics

Take a well-thought-out and strategic approach to employee communications that implement a communication strategy that aligns with your brand’s business goals. Targeting communications to relevant foundational employees by using target audiences, managers, and communicators will ultimately enable you to facilitate more substantial and more engaging employee communications within your business.

It’s vital to not forget to build metrics and analytics into your corporate communication strategy in order to evaluate the strategy’s success. Subjective methods such as employee surveys are always useful and definitely need to be a part of your strategy, but your research shouldn’t only rely on them.

8. Make your company culture a culture of communication

People sitting and talking in an office at VP Legacies

Improving corporate communications, especially employee communications, will always start with the business making a conscious and passionate decision to create a culture of communication throughout the entirety of the company. This ultimately involves committing to transparency as an executive or CEO and putting systems and practices in place that support continuous dialog between employees and their management teams.

The power of dialogue and conversation can absolutely transform a company’s culture and ultimately the business’ financial results. A workforce that is communicating effectively with produce better output and improve the business overall. This is the purpose of a corporate communications strategy, but that strategy will be useless if those in charge don’t commit to creating a culture in real life, not just on paper.

Related: Monochronic vs. Polychronic Cultures: What are the Differences?

Takeaway

Building a corporate communication strategy is essential if you want your business to succeed. Connect with VP Legacies to learn how to apply these strategies and more, while increasing your employee and customer retention.

Employees looking at a computer

9 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019

9 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019 1920 1144 VP Legacies

High employee turnover can be extremely costly and detrimental to an organization. It’s normal to encounter some level of turnover in an organization due to reasons such as retirement. However, turnover due to other reasons, such as poor employee morale, is not good and should be fixed.

A higher than normal amount of turnover is usually one of the first signs there are significant issues in an organization, and if it’s ignored can lead to even further issues such as a decline in workforce productivity. All of this will eventually trickle down into affecting the bottom line.

In short, turnover can’t be ignored and won’t go away without intervention. It’s essential that you improve your communication strategies, amongst other things to take action to limit your employee turnover.

Management studies on reducing turnover are plenty. In this post, we’ll distill the many mitigation techniques out there and go through some easy and practical ways of reducing employee turnover.

We’ll distill the many mitigation techniques out there and go through some easy and practical ways of reducing employee turnover.

The first step in reducing employee turnover is getting a good grasp of how it’s happening and more importantly, why.

This means keeping track of how many employees are leaving an organization in a given year and how these numbers compare with the years before. If there’s been a sudden spike one year, look into why this might be the case. Did a major event happen that year such as an acquisition by a bigger company? Where is the turnover happening? If it’s only within a specific department, was there a new leader hired there that may be causing issues?

Drilling down may help uncover possible hypotheses on why turnover has spiked and ways to solve. Numbers alone aren’t enough; it’s essential to know the underlying reason – the why?

Qualitative insights also help. This is where implementing practices such as exit interviews can be very beneficial.

Most employees that have decided to leave an organization are willing to state why. Be sure that these exit interviews are conducted by an unbiased party such as an HR practitioner and are done confidentially so anyone who reads the takeaways from the interview won’t know who the interviewee was.

Establishing monthly employee surveys can also help raise red flags to leadership if employee morale is sinking, and there’s a chance of high turnover happening. It’s important these surveys are anonymous when completed and isn’t collected at a level where employees or managers handling the data could determine who might have completed it.

Monthly employee surveys are a great preventative measure in flagging potential turnover before it happens.

2. Don’t shy away from praise and recognition

The next tactic to reducing employee turnover is quite simple, low-effort, but very effective.

Make sure employees, managers, and the overall company culture value the practice of giving recognition and praise.

If employees are doing a great job, submit an excellent deliverable, or have gone above and beyond in any way – recognize them for this in front of their colleagues. Or if certain events have happened such as the colleagues being promoted or certain milestones being met by a team during a project, recognize them for the work done.

Praise doesn’t always have to be public. It can also be privately done and still be effective. Take employees out for coffee and let know their hard is work is appreciated.

Don’t go overboard with this and only give praise when employees genuinely deserve this.

Praise is a great way to reduce turnover. Employees will feel like their hard work is being noticed and appreciated – boosting their morale.

3. Show employees the end goal and how to get there

Feeling a sense of progress is critical towards employees feeling fulfilled in their jobs.

This means if they think they’ve stayed stagnant in a particular position and begin to get bored of their job – they’ll start looking elsewhere for new opportunities.

Luckily, this one’s easily avoidable by ensuring that there are clearly defined roles and career progression in an organization.

By formally establishing these and communicating it with employees, they’ll start to understand what’s the next step in their time here and what might be the tasks they need to show they’ve accomplished in order to progress to the next level.

This doesn’t always been dishing out a promotion. Sometimes this can be adding more responsibility to their current role or rotating them across different functions to keep things interesting.

Keep career paths transparent, detailed, and supplementing this with regular performance reviews. This means employees will know what to work on to get to the next level and progress through the company – instead of leaving for the competition.

4. Let employees manage their own time

The next trick to reducing employee turnover is simply providing them with autonomy. When it comes to their daily tasks, this may be hard due to a lack of experience, but freedom and independence in how they manage their time to completing work on their plate are surely doable!

Provide employees as much freedom to set their own schedule, and even where they work from. Introduce options such as work-from-home days, and flexible work hours so that it’s not mandatory for them to be in-office, 8 hours, 5 days a week.

Employees can pick a work schedule that’s optimal for them but also gets work done effectively. Having the option to do this might keep them in the organization cause ultimately, there’s no price one can set on freedom.

5. Pay employees well and offer bonuses

Money matters. And this means employees want to feel like they are compensated well or else they’ll leave.

Make sure annual salary reviews are in place and that compensation is benchmarked with the market rate and to what competitors offer.

This can extend beyond just base salary to include other benefits such as bonuses. Make it attractive and it doesn’t all have to be monetary. Pairing market salary along with flexible work-at-home policies can shrink turnover as employees start to value the flexibility over more pay elsewhere but restricted to being in the office all the time.

6. Align values and purpose

Everyone want’s to feel a sense of purpose to what they’re doing. This is the same at work.

Communicate to employees what it is the organization is striving to achieve, and why their contributions matter. This doesn’t have to be altruistic. The effort just needs to go into helping employees see the purpose in what they’re doing. The key is being able to articulate a company’s purpose in a way that connects.

This might sound complicated. But to keep it actionable, translate this down by ensuring managers communicate the bigger context of what their direct reports do.

An analyst helping crunch numbers in an excel sheet just needs to know that this analysis is going towards identifying bottlenecks in the shipping process – which in turn could be fixed and speed up delivery times for customers. It can be that simple and be enough to give an employee a sense of purpose in the work they are doing.

Related: How to Retain Top Level Employees (The Right Way!)

7. Check-in with employees often

This trick is all about habit and it can be implemented in a fairly easy way within an organization.

Simply ensure that time is carved out for direct reports to have casual conversations about how their job is going with their managers. Make this mandatory for managers to schedule into calendars on a recurring basis with every direct report. Keep them accountable by measuring such practices and making it a part of their annual performance reviews.

This should be a casual check-in for 30 min. or an hour and involves going for coffee or a walk to ask how things are going. This practice alone can be hugely beneficial in making a frustrated employee who’s a flight-risk feel heard and reconsider leaving.

8. Create a rewarding culture

Although rewarding for a job well done is great and much needed. Most often, employees want more than that. They want their time with a company to be more than just work so it’s important to create a sense of culture.

This means hosting regular ‘after work’ events such as having managers gather everyone to go for drinks nearby. Or having monthly team lunches that allows everyone to get together.

Cheeky traditions at work also help such as telling employees to dress up in whacky costumes during Halloween or creating a fantasy football league for employees to participate in.

All this boosts camaraderie and makes the work team feel more like family. Leaving your ‘family’ for a job somewhere else is a lot harder to do and starts to reduce turnover!

Moreover, having a team that’s well bonded also means they’ll be more comfortable in voicing any issues that creep up proactively. This allows an organization to address any problem quickly before leaving their job becomes the only solution.

Though hiring the right employees who are a good fit for an organization is important in reducing turnover. The other often overlooked aspect is hiring or training up good people managers.

Some employees can be high performers that excel at their work but can be horrible people managers who don’t really know how to lead, develop, and instill a sense of culture in their teams. They may often prioritize actual work over activities such as hosting check-ins with their employees to see how they are doing. Because of this, direct reports to some of these managers may have no issue with the company but hate their boss so much they decide to leave.

To fix this, if hiring for managers, be sure to vet their people management skills thoroughly, and if promoting from within, be sure to train them on effective people management!

9. Make wellness a key priority

Tackling a sudden spike in turnover can seem daunting, but there are simple, habitual strategies that can do wonders in reducing turnover in an organization. Take our suggestions above and put together a task team to apply it to a company. Remember, high turnover left unchecked can be disastrous in the long-run.

Takeaway

Tackling a sudden spike in turnover can seem daunting, but there are simple, habitual strategies that can do wonders in reducing turnover in an organization. Take our suggestions above and put together a task team to apply it to a company. Remember, high turnover left unchecked can be disastrous in the long-run.

Related: How to Create a Recession-Proof Employee Retention Plan

 

Executive reading a newspaper with coffee

What is the Best Strategy for CEO Communication?

What is the Best Strategy for CEO Communication? 1920 1144 VP Legacies

Dedicated CEOs want to be able to learn new things about their role and how they can become better at their jobs.

Many CEOs attend seminars, invest in workshops, and look up to other established business owners for mentorship. While all of these are great initiatives to take, there are also some tried and true tips out there that all CEOs should try out on their own.

Luckily, there are a number of things a CEO can do to improve their communication skills as well as other aspects of their jobs. We’re going to cover the top tips for CEOs to use to get the most out of their roles.

But first, let’s look at some core definitions in order to really establish who can benefit from these tips below.

Related: 8 Tips for Effective Communication Online

What is a CEO?

A chief executive officer, also known as a CEO, is the highest-ranking executive in any given enterprise or company. A CEO’s primary responsibilities typically include making major corporate decisions, managing the business’ operations, managing the business resources of a company, acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors (also simply known as “the board”) and corporate operations. A CEO may also deal with shareholders and stakeholders directly, depending on the size or type of business the CEO works for. A CEO is typically elected by the board and its shareholders.

Essentially, the CEO is the public face of the business. Because of this, CEOs have a responsibility of being optimum communicators and demonstrate a positive representation of the company.

What Does a CEO Do?

A CEO’s role tends to vary from one business to another, significantly depending on the business’ size, company culture, and overall corporate structure. In massive enterprises or corporations, CEOs will typically deal only with very high-level decisions and strategies, as well as decisions that direct the business’ overall growth. In smaller businesses or startups, CEOs often are more involved and work directly with the daily functions of the business. CEOs are representatives as “the face” of the company, so they are responsible for setting the tone, vision, and even the internal culture of their businesses.

Because of their frequent interactions with the public, namely fans, brand ambassadors, and customers, sometimes the Chief Executive Officers of bigger corporations become essential celebrities. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc., for example, is a well-known name today and has a substantial social media presence online. Similarly, Bill Gates, the principal founder and former CEO of Microsoft Corporation has become a household name and has been featured in numerous documentaries and feature films.

This infamy can be both good and bad. If a CEO does not have ideal communication skills or a clean public image, it can impact the company that the CEO represents. Having a strategy for CEO communication and knowing when and how to properly leverage the CEO’s credibility and presence through social media is something all CEOs should be concerned with. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a ton of tips for navigating the world of CEO communication and CEO communications best practices.

Importance of CEO communication

As the role of the CEO comes with growing publicity, the importance of CEO communication is one of the enormous consequences if performed poorly. Not only is the CEO expected to make significant decisions affecting the future of the company, but the CEO must also be concerned with the public image portrayed by the company. A CEO that fails to communicate can drive a company to ruin through breaking trusted relations, destroying employee morale, and causing irreparable harm to the company’s reputation. For instance, Elon Musk recently tweeted that in his opinion, Tesla’s stock price was too high, and it caused a tremendous plunge in their stock price shortly afterward. Other CEOs that have failed to communicate have either been ousted or forced to resign. Communication is just as much about what you do say as much as what you do not. 

1. Consider your office as a projection of yourself

The CEO’s office is the home base– where massive decisions for a company often happen, interviews may occur, and clients or business partners may meet. One way to communicate the quality of one’s business is to make that home base as welcoming and aesthetically pleasing as possible. Not the typical sterile, white, messy CEO office that many business executives tend to have.

The coolest CEO offices are open spaces with plenty of seating, which gives it the feel of being a social and well-used space. A CEO’s office should also include objects, furniture, decor, and imagery that inspires them. These items can be directly related to the company they work for.

2. Keep an eye on your posture

Posture can affect a lot about a person’s presentation. It can affect their voice, especially if they are leaning against something, hunching their shoulders, or slouching in a chair. As a CEO, you need to have a room-commanding voice that is capable of getting attention and inspiring listeners– be they stakeholders, company fans at a speech, or partners in a meeting.

One way to improve your posture is to bear your weight on the balls of your feet and to keep your feet close to shoulder-width apart. Strengthening one’s core can also improve posture.

3. Be aware of your pitch and tone when you speak, especially when giving speeches

Numerous studies have deduced that pitch has been directly linked to business success– something that may seem bizarre to many CEOs. However, the command of one’s voice as the representative of a business can reflect how “powerful” that company actually is. Human beings love to categorize things visually, and something as large and conceptual as an enterprise is difficult to categorize. Putting a face and a voice to a company makes it easier to categorize it as powerful or weak. This is why a CEO’s voice needs to have the pitch and tone of what we consider a “powerful” voice.

Male CEOs that have low-pitched voices tend to have more success. Though researchers are currently still exploring the connection between voices and positive business image, pitch and tone have a clear effect on verbal communication on the part of CEOs.

4. Consider starting a CEO blog

Blogs can be an authentic channel for communication, so it’s worth considering starting up a blog as a CEO. Blogs can provide a somewhat more personal look into what life is like running a business, as well as “behind the scenes” look into what goes on at the business itself.

A blog can also promote brand loyalty by giving dedicated customers something to look forward to on a regular basis. A blog can provide customers with a compelling reason to engage with your brand after you’ve guided them through your blog posts.

Keep in mind that it would be wise to regularly update this blog so that brand ambassadors and fans will know when to check-in.

5. Always show off your personality

It’s your job as a CEO to engage your listeners and get them excited about your company. However, people are all different and have different interests and preferences, which can make connecting with them as a CEO a challenge.

When it comes down to it, people don’t want a rehearsed, cookie-cutter scripted speech. They want you to cater to them and their personalities, but they also want to experience someone who is real. Extend yourself, along with your authentic personality, and inject those aspects of yourself into your communication style in videos, blogs, social media posts, or interviews to connect with your audience better.

Authenticity is often overlooked by CEOs, and it certainly makes sense why. Being a CEO involves a significant amount of work and it may be exhausting or time-consuming to essentially perform for one’s customer base. However, it’s vital for CEOs to project a positive image of themselves as people as well as the avatar of the company. Being honest about who you are and letting your authentic self shine through is a great way to communicate with more authenticity to your audience.

6. Practice your communication skills, even if you think you’re a communication pro

Communication can be learned, but it is a skill. Skills can only improve if one practices regularly and takes it very seriously. If you’re a CEO that isn’t exactly perfect at verbal communication, there are a number of techniques to build your ability to effectively communicate up:

  • Practice active listening and always take the time to listen first and speak later.
  • Open up your body language to be more confident, comfortable, and secure.
  • Practice storytelling to improve your speeches. You want to be able to personally connect with the audience.
  • Be genuinely kind and don’t be afraid to put yourself on different levels.
  • Always accept feedback and even go out of your way to solicit feedback from your employees.
  • Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Nobody is captivated by someone who is a robot– a good CEO will not be afraid to be real and honest with their audience.
  • Learn how to adapt to different styles of communication for different audiences. For example, learn about the cultural faux pas about communicating with Japanese businesspeople before attending a meeting with them, rather than sticking to what you’re used to with American businesspeople.

Even if you think you’re great at communicating with others, work on maintaining that ability through practice.

Remember that communication methods should not be stagnant– they’re always growing and the way people communicate in any given culture is constantly changing.

Related: 12 Corporate Communication Challenges

7. Offer prompts for communication, rather than questions

Turning declarative prompts into actual questions is a surefire way to miscommunicate. It is really critical to be as direct as possible when communicating with your audience.

For example: A typical CEO or boss may say “Can you get the report to me soon? It’s really important and I’m going to need is as soon as possible.” This comes off as a little aggressive and more of a command than an opener for a conversation. It’s also fairly open-ended without a deadline to help your employees out. Instead, try saying “Could you please get that report to me? I’d prefer it at three o’clock on Wednesday.”

CEOs should always use a steady and powerful tone, but they should also issue specific prompts instead of vague questions or aggressive commands.

8. Pace your speeches and don’t rush through them

People listen significantly slower than they think, so there is no need to speed through a speech. In fact, people listen at a rate of up to 250 words per minute and think at a rate of up to 3,000 words per minute– that’s a big difference.

Rushing through your speech only leads to jumbled words, slurred speech, and skipped points, but it can also make it difficult for your listeners to actually internalize and memorize what you’ve said. That is far from the goal of a speech on behalf of your company– so keep things slow, paced, and easy to understand.

9. …but also eventually get to the point

The short-term memory of human beings processes words, but short-term memory retains about seven sections of information at any given time. Getting to your point in a timely manner ensures that more people listening will retain the information you’re putting out. Flesh out your thoughts as quickly and clearly as possible, just not at the expense of your overall point. Being able to get your point across quickly while also pacing your speech is a difficult balance to master. Just continue to practice and also be open to editing your speech script multiple times for optimum authenticity.

10. Don’t be excessively casual

The professional-casual balance can be a delicate one. Lacking a casual edge can make you seem robotic and not interesting to your company’s fanbase. However, being too casual and lacking a professional edge can totally destroy your authority.

Maintaining a powerful tone is very important in communicating as a CEO, but it can be overbearing and intimidating if done in excess. If your tone is too casual and passive, this can weaken your authenticity, sincerity, and communication ability. CEOs need to engage with their employees with the tone of someone who is in charge, but also as someone who is part of the team.

11. Encourage feedback from your employees and colleagues

Allow time for employees to share their opinions with you, maintain approachability, and ultimately reward them for their insights. If you give people a platform to share, they may be more receptive to your own message. If you reward decent feedback, employees may interact and partake in conversations more often and improve the communication balance between the company and the CEO.

12. Don’t be afraid of repeating yourself

Since communication is a process, repeating yourself is a natural part of the process. Do not be afraid to repeat yourself because you feel like you are annoying. There are several reasons why it’s essential to repeat yourself. Having to repeat yourself does not necessarily mean you failed to communicate the first time. However, it should give you an idea to consider if there is another way you can try to deliver the same message. The fault does not lie on you 100% either. There could have been distractions or other factors that pulled your audience’s attention away the first time. Also, keep in mind that just because you have spent a long time preparing your material, your audience only gets a fraction of that time to absorb the same information. Having your audience engaged with what you are presenting can help alleviate some of the need to repeat yourself, which brings us to the next point. 

13. Get people involved

There are many different strategies for CEO communication. We’ve narrowed it down to 12, but there’s more than that. Connect with us at VP Legacies and learn more about corporate communication strategies and how to improve employee and customer retention.

We all interpret things in different ways, which is why it can be hard for people to clearly remember information and interpret information in the intended way. CEOs should get their company staff involved first and foremost in order to drive home their message. It may also be a good idea for meetings to be more interactive through the use of powerpoint presentations or demos for a more hands-on experience.

Takeaway

There were quite a few strategies mentioned, but the most effective communicators use many strategies together and even come up with new ones. There are a few main things to remember about how to communicate effectively. You want to project confidence through both your speech and posture, be honest and personable through public interactions, and to be adaptable. You should practice communicating even if you believe yourself to be a great communicator. You should encourage two-way communication as it is just as important to listen as it is to speak. Be direct and avoid confusion, maintain authority without intimidation, and, most importantly, get people to care about what it is you are communicating. 

Related: How Internal Communication Strategies Boost Employee Engagement


Have you wanted to learn how to change strangers into friends, friends into best friends and create a personal connection with anyone?

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Free Personal Connection 101 Course

Learn to speak with confidence, have deeper conversations, and easily meet new people (even in a pandemic).

We help thousands of people worldwide build meaningful relationships everyday.