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The Modern Leader's Must-Haves: Communication, Storytelling, and Executive Presence

What a week, month and year... and just like that we're straight into July. 

I'm not sure about you, but 2024 seems to by flying by. I've been thinking a lot lately about what the stand out skills are that sets leaders apart. I think there's always that question of 'natural leaders' vs those who have learned leadership. 

What I know to be true is that in this particular era of leadership, there's three key stand out skills that you need to stand out. In today's dynamic business landscape, leadership is no longer just about do as I say, barking orders and wielding authority. 

Effective leaders are those who can inspire, motivate, and guide their teams towards a shared vision. 

To achieve this, they need a powerful arsenal of skills beyond strategic thinking and decision-making. Here's why communication, storytelling, and executive presence are crucial for success in the the future of leadership:

1. The Power of Communication: 

Clear, concise and courageous communication is the lynchpin of any successful team. When I work with businesses and their leaders, almost all of their problems are due to poor communication, or lack of communication. To be a create leader you need to articulate you vision, goals, and expectations (the last one is often missed) effectively create an environment of understanding and alignment. Good communication reduces confusion, fosters collaboration, and ensures everyone is working towards the same common goal. Strong communication also involves active listening. When you truly listen to your teams, it builds trust, encourages open dialogue, and taps into valuable insights that can fuel innovation, collaboration and problem-solving.

2. Storytelling: From Data to Impact: 

You may or may not know, I had a 10 year career at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this may come as a bit of a surprise, as I'm not your typical numbers person. What I learned during that time what how important it was to help people understand what the datas mean. 

This era of leadership is based on both data driven decisions as well as human connection. Numbers and reports are important, but they often fail to capture hearts and minds. Leaders who can weave data and facts into compelling stories have a distinct advantage. Storytelling allows leaders to connect with their audience on an emotional level, making information more relatable and memorable. 

By sharing personal anecdotes, case studies, or even historical references, leaders can illustrate the bigger picture, inspire action, and drive change. This important skill is turning information into insight.

3. Executive Presence: Commanding the Room: 

Late last year I spoke at a Women's Executive Summit and one of the topics I spoke about was Executive Presence. I'm still getting weekly messages from the audience members about that session. Executive Presence isn't about arrogance or brash or pretentious displays. It's about projecting confidence, credibility, and a sense of command. It's the ability to walk into a room and immediately capture attention. 

Leaders with strong executive presence exude a certain gravitas that inspires trust and respect. This can be achieved through nonverbal cues like posture, eye contact, and body language, as well as strong verbal communication skills.

The Perfect Trio: 

These three skills are not independent entities. Powerful storytelling hinges on clear communication, and both are amplified by a strong executive presence. When leaders can articulate a vision with clarity, weave it into a compelling narrative, and deliver it with confidence, they have the power to truly inspire and lead their teams to achieve extraordinary results. 

By honing these essential skills, leaders can become more effective communicators, inspiring storytellers, and commanding figures. In doing so, they create the foundation for a thriving and successful business. 

Perhaps you're looking to improve your Communication, Tell better stories, and get noticed when you walk in the room? If so, check out the upcoming below events.


Ally Nitschke is a best-selling Author, an award-winning Thought Leader and Speaker. She has been working with leaders and as a Leader for over 20 years. She is on a mission to change the way we communicate at work, to lean into those uncomfortable conversations and lead with courage. Ally is a Keynote Speaker at conference, delivers Transformational Programs & highly engaging workshops as well as provides Executive Coaching. In her spare time, she's mostly at the beach with her beautiful husband and 4 tiny people.


If you are interested in having Ally speak at an upcoming event or would like more information about Ally's Programs please book a call.

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