I am in love with the world of speaking, and how powerfully we can shape our world and open up possibility simply by mastering the craft of communication.

In the workshops and conversations we have around SpeakableYOU, I am quite passionate in my quest to get the people surrounding me to understand that mastering the art of speaking is not simply to open opportunity, to increase our visibility, to hone our ability to engage with the world. It is not just about the upside – it is also when things don’t go to plan, or when we are thrust into a challenge or crisis we simply weren’t expecting.

We discuss and explore, in intimate detail, the times when I have had to pull deeply on my ability to communicate to get myself – and often the people around me – through challenges that I KNOW we wouldn’t have made it through if I hadn’t invested in lifting my own skills in this area.

Because when you unpack the art of speaking and dive deep into how to build story, when you invest in understanding language and communication and both the conscious and unconscious blocks to being heard, and to engaging the people surrounding you, what you are learning every single step of the way is how to position yourself in the world.
And nowhere is this more important than when you are suddenly in a position you didn’t envisage, you quite possibly never even imagined in your worst nightmares.

And it stunned me, as a girl who grew up in rural Australia where cricket ruled our summers, to listen to the CEO of Cricket Australia in his first press conference since the Australian Cricket team ball-tampering scandal broke.

His delivery quite simply raised more questions than it answered. In a hyper-connected world where opinion pieces were already racking up hundreds of thousands of views, his pre-prepared statement rambled, confused and relied far too heavily on due process and we were shocked to wake to the same news.

His answers to questions from journalists did little to strengthen his position as CEO of one of our most prominent sporting bodies, and the language of a leader, of a man in control, were quite simply missing. To go further and respond to a question that ‘due to time differences and other things’ he had yet to speak to anyone demonstrated a disconnect somewhere across that organisation and a sense that something is amiss.

And this is why when we want to shape the world around us we have to learn the language of that world.

• If we are given the responsibility to lead, we must learn the language of leadership

• To articulate a solution, we must first be able to articulate what the challenge really is

• When faced with an unexpected challenge, we must understand how to instill confidence in those surrounding us

• We simply must build an understanding that what is not said, what is stumbled over, is more powerful in shaping perception than what we do say, and how we say it

Because in this hyper-connected world it is very easy to lose control of the Google narrative, and the only way you can shape and reshape it is by building the muscle of communication.

Originally published here.