Are You Wearing Your Leadership CAP?

The message, voice, and confidence of a leader are critical in influencing people. Your team, family, organization, company, church, non-profit, and community need you to put on your Leadership CAP and speak up. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is one of the most famous and inspirational presentations in the history of the United States. There can be no doubt that MLK put on his Leadership CAP to inspire, guide, and call a nation to action.


As a leader, you will be called upon to put on your Leadership CAP and present information in a manner that is…





Your time might be a team meeting, sales call, department gathering, family event, performance review, or other countless moments when you need to use your voice. Will you be ready?


Let me provide you with some guiding thoughts about putting on your leadership CAP.


Clear- Structured organization

Organize your message in a way that it is easy for people to follow. Here are four simple ways to structure your message.

  1. The Basics
  • Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  • Tell them.
  • Tell them what you told them.


  1. Main Points
  • Identify 2 to 4 main points to share and articulate each point as you go.


  1. Chronological
  • Order and prioritize your communication in terms of time (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc…)


  1. Problem – Solution – Reasons
  • Identify the problem
  • Share the solution
  • Tell the reasons why this solution will work


Articulate – Use language easily and fluently.

Next, speak in an articulate manner so the message flows with ease. Yes, this is more difficult than it sounds. Our communication is filled with “ums”, “aahhhs”, and “you knows”. Simply eliminating these fillers will help you communicate in a more articulate manner. There two techniques that I have practiced to help remove the fillers. The first is not to be afraid of the “pause”. Instead of using a “filler word or phrase” simply pause and wait for the next word to come. The second technique is to practice not using filler words in your every day conversations. This will make you more aware of your words and challenge you speak more articulately.


Persuasive – Confident energy that inspires.

Finally, your message needs to overflow with oomph. If nothing else, please bring some passion to your message. There are three tools that will help put the oomph in your message:


  1. Fully believe in your message. If you do not believe in what you are saying your audience will not.
  2. Keep your head up. This will remind you to look your audience in the eyes.
  3. Energize the message by smiling (if appropriate) and projecting vocally. Showing your authentic emotions will draw in your audience and demonstrate that you really do believe in what you are saying.


Your voice is needed to lead. A voice that is clear, articulate, and persuasive. Remember to put on your Leadership CAP.