Jim Endicott, President, Distinction Communication Inc., leading the session: The Art and Science of Leadership Communication.
Jim is a nationally-recognized executive coach and management consultant with a passion for helping organizational leaders ramp up their ability to motivate, inspire and challenge those they lead. In 1998, Jim launched his Portland-based company, Distinction Communication Inc., and since then his team has come alongside literally thousands of leaders across the country to better equip them to deliver their high-stakes messages. Jim has been a Jesse H. Neal award-winning columnist for PRESENTATIONS magazine and has contributed presentation-related content in magazines like Business Week, Consulting and Selling Power. Over the years,
Distinction’s clients have included senior executives in some of America’s largest and most successful companies as well as small start-ups and non-profit organizations with an important story to tell.
We were excited to catch up with Jim to learn a little more about her before the conference to gather some mentoring advice from such an accomplished PR professional.
Why is your workshop topic so important to PR professionals today?
Leaders are the most visible face of any organization and we seem to lean on them more and more to shape corporate cultures, align efforts and cast a compelling vision of the future. Unfortunately, far too many are masters of their business metrics yet struggle in their ability to communicate in ways that inspire much confidence. They all say the right words, but their personal impact fails to give their message any real velocity.
PR Professionals not only need to be masters of the ‘what’ (the message) these days, but also coaches in the ‘how’ (delivery skills). This workshop frames up that discussion in practical ways.
What will your breakout session attendees walk away with to help them in their next big client presentation?
This session has a clear leadership communication bent to it, but the reality is we’re all trying to get through to the busy and distracted stakeholders in our lives. Attendees will walk away with some practical insight for better coaching leadership teams but also how they can apply the very same insight to their own high stakes communication opportunities. A nice two-fer.
How have expectation levels changed for how well we expect our leaders to communicate?
There’s no doubt the vast majority of the leaders we encounter are really smart people. They have to be. But the days of keeping an executive close to the sidelines at critical times because they just aren’t very good in front of people are over. One seemingly uncertain voice in leadership will impair our most carefully conceived messages. We want them to inspire us and help ground us during challenging times. We expect more today.
How do your workshop ideas tie into the strategies an organization may employ around leadership communication?
PR professionals have a lot of tools for shaping perceptions. Press releases. Newsletters. Blogs. Social media. But the loudest voice of all in shaping what people think and believe will always be the leader themselves who stands confidently in front of investors, employees and customers and shares a compelling and sincere message.
If your PR groups’ engagement strategies do not include helping their senior executives take their speaking skills to the next level – even the most carefully structured talking points will never produce the desired outcome.