Sixty-two board chairmen, 320 company presidents and 450,000 corporate executives have learned their communication skills form just one man.
His name is Kevin Daley, chairman and founder of Manhattan-based Communispond. And for over 30 years Daley has taught the barons of business how to get their stories out.
Students from a cross-section of businesses — from Wall Street to Main Street — sign up for Daley’s two-day, videotape-enhanced course. But no matter where they come from, the skill set they're looking for is the same — the ability to stand up in front of a small group. That is, CEOs in front of shareholders, or the press.
Being the Chairman of the Board, or a CEO, doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing, or have the right skill set Daley says.
“Chairman of the Board, Presidents … they give a lot of talks,” said Daley. “It doesn’t mean they’re good. Can they learn? No question. Can they get better? No question. Can they get a lot better? No question.”
Here’s a question: How can they get better? A lot has to do with getting over the “scary factor” says Daley. Forty-one percent of businesspeople recently surveyed said giving presentations was their number one business fear.
One way to improve is to engage an audience Daley says.
“If we want to be interesting, we have to be physically interesting; intellectually interesting. That’s the way we are made; we’re not trying to do something weird,” Daley explains. “We had a participant once, the Chairman of Armor Inc., who said, “The greatest sin in business life is to be boring, and it's also the most committed sin.’”
When Daley started his business no one else was doing it; now it’s an industry. Communication skills training and consulting is estimated to be worth over $300 million annually. A former advertising man, Daley began it all when he noticed one simple thing:
“I saw people make presentations and lose business, so I said there has to be a better way,” he said. “Any time the physical contradicts the verbiage, the word, the message, guess what you buy? The physical impact — that wins every time. What you see, or what you hear wins over the content.”