Odette building
Odette Building

Successful business woman provides tips on effective communication for leaders.

“In order to speak like a leader you must see yourself as a leader,” Judith Humphrey, renowned global communication coach told Odette School of Business students, faculty and Windsor residents at a Breakfast with Champions event at the School on November 8.

Humphrey, Founder and President of The Humphrey Group and author of Speaking As A Leader pointed out that every business person must speak in a way that goes beyond providing information to inspiring and motivating followers, in every conversation.

Humphrey presented her four-step process for speaking as a leader including thinking like a leader, which involves having a vision, looking beyond hierarchal structures, moving from information to inspiration and from the negative to the positive.  She described a scenario in which a junior employee bumps into his or her manager after making a presentation to the board.  “Instead of telling the manager that the board was hard on you during your presentation but eventually you got the approval, say that you have received the board’s go ahead and are very excited to get started on the project,” Humphrey said. Her advice: “Always focus on the positive and never show defeat!”

The second step in Humphrey’s approach is to develop a leader’s script, starting with a grabber and ending with a call to action, which leads to more successful outcomes.   Using the language of a leader by focusing on the positive, never showing defeat, speaking with conviction and thinking before you speak, are the components of the third step.  The fourth step is to achieve a leader’s presence by using confident body language and posture at all times.

What was great about the presentation, according to fourth-year student Mickey Bidlovsky, was not only the pointers given by Humphrey but that what she said was directly related to what students have been learning at the business school.  “During our communication classes, our professors have been trying to emphasize that communication is important and that it will make all the difference in our careers. By having a successful woman speak these exact same words the relevance becomes a lot more apparent and real,” Bidlovsky said.

Following the presentation, Humphrey signed copies of her book, Speaking As A Leader, which was published in 2012 by John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.

The Breakfast with Champions events are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.  Contact Barbara Barone at