People are naturally more attracted to leaders who respond to questions and exchange ideas without hesitation. When leaders speak with conviction and with words that are noticeably unscripted, they appear more genuine and sincere.

The most charismatic leaders are quick to respond and appear to speak from the heart. Listeners hang to their words because they trust what they say. And when you can engage in spontaneous conversation, you resolve problems quicker. You deliver feedback that your employees will respond to better because it doesn’t feel mulled over.

Like most things in leadership, the skill of impromptu language can be learned. Here’s how to strengthen your ability to engage in spontaneous conversation:

Clarity

Keep your responses clear and direct. Shorten your sentences. Don’t ramble on to disguise the fact that you’re uncertain of the answer. It is a tactic typical of beauty pageant contestants. Rather than answer directly with what they would tell the world leaders about their plans to end poverty, they start with, “If I were given the opportunity to meet with the world leaders to discuss poverty, I would say…” By repeating the question, they buy themselves time to gather their thoughts.

When you use fillers in your language, you risk confusing your audience. You also risk losing their trust. Avoid technical jargon and over-complicated words. They don’t make you sound smarter, but it does alienate the people you’re talking to. When your thinking isn’t clear, neither will your language.

Collaborative

Invite your listeners into the conversation. Use terms like “we” instead of “I” or “my” when discussing company plans or achievements. When you encourage collaborative conversation, you place the focus on common goals and invite diverse perspectives. It also keeps the conversation flowing naturally.

Conversational

When leaders deliver news from a text that was written for them, their message appears scripted and almost as though they’re putting on an act. When this happens, listeners tend to disconnect emotionally.

Spontaneous language should be conversational but professional. It should be comfortable and effortless. Choose simpler words that would use in everyday conversations. However, don’t dumb your language down so much by talking so casually that you use “yeah,” “nope,” or “gonna.”

Confidence

When leaders can hold impromptu conversations with confidence, they exude authenticity. Avoid fumbling over your words and using fillers like “you know,” “um,” “like,” “uh,” “actually,” and “basically.” Instead, start a conversation with conviction by using phrases such as “I’m convinced” or “I believe.”

Get to the point quickly. When you ramble, you lose the attention and interest of your audience. Let go of your self-doubt that may weaken your authority. Inject warmth and humor to make a connection; don’t overdo it.

Remember, impromptu language, and spontaneous conversation are much more than being quick on your feet and having an answer for everything.

Do you have a hard time overcoming the struggle to find the right words or quickly recover after saying the wrong ones? If you’re as passionate about leadership as we are and want to learn more about how to develop your skills for spontaneous conversation, let’s connect: greg@inscapeconsulting.com

Leave a comment