Recent years have shown that we live in an increasingly complex world. Some have even called this era the ‘BANI era’ (BANI stands for brittle, anxious, nonlinear and incomprehensible). In other words, it is a fragile and nervous time. In this context, the role of CEOs and spokespersons has become paramount as they serve as the mouthpiece and catalysts for disseminating company information. Social media platforms like LinkedIn offer C-suite executives and employees a valuable tool to convey their company’s vision and enhance its reputation. However, the true test of a spokesperson lies in real-world interactions, particularly in challenging situations like press conferences. A poorly handled press conference can leave a lasting negative impression, as many politicians have learned the hard way. Conversely, a well-executed press conference can provide an opportunity to emerge stronger from a crisis, provided the spokesperson is well-prepared.
As Diego Rovés, Director of Consumer Communications at APPLE TREE, stated in the NEW THINKING podcast, “Spokesperson training is crucial because the spokesperson is the face of the brand, the one who validates the company’s key messages and safeguards its public image.” It’s essential before discussing financial results, the company’s sustainability efforts, alignment with Sustainable Development Goals, or consumer product benefits, as emphasised in the podcast.
“The first technique is to be well prepared and know what you have to transmit in each meeting or occasion in which you will be the spokesperson. Start with a well-structured message document with proof points or arguments to support those main messages. And then, you have certain techniques or elements that can help you be at ease with what you have to say. But, above all, you have to end your speech satisfactorily”, adds Diego Rovés.
In addition to all of the above, there are little tricks that can help us to deal successfully with public speaking in front of the media or other corporate contexts: arrive in good time so that we don’t feel rushed and our minds wander elsewhere, talk to the journalist beforehand to create a more relaxed atmosphere, breathing exercises, facial stretching, and even the clothes we are going to wear so that they are not uncomfortable.
At APPLE TREE, our team of experts assists senior management in enhancing their reputations by addressing various aspects of effective leadership, including communication and trust. Through personalised sessions and workshops tailored to the unique needs of each business, we empower executives to navigate public speaking challenges with poise and confidence.