Course Two

How to Use Communication Strategically to Enhance Leadership Persona

Free Lesson: How Strategic Communication Enhances Leadership Persona

After this free lesson you will:

  • Build a stronger “Personal Leadership Brand”
  • Pose questions during the interview that enhances leadership persona
  • Eliminate sounding too soft or weak for challenging questions

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Have you ever thought about your personal leadership brand? Take a moment to think about the idea of your own “Personal Leadership Brand”…

How speech and voice are used sends signals about how you are perceived by others. Judgements are made about level of education, degree of intelligence, ability to solve problems or be viewed as a leader, being credible, reputable and even likeable. Course Two, How to Use Communication Strategically to Enhance Your Leadership Persona, will teach you how to use intonation at an advanced level for complex conversation or delivering presentations. You will learn how to use pausing for a boom effect that will give statements more impact. Poor speech habits and ineffective vocabulary can be eliminated and replaced with rich vocabulary and more persuasive communication styles.

Flash back to elementary school, there we learned that when asking a question, it should end with upward inflection. However, when it comes to business communication and it is important to have a leadership presence, the psychology for how to pose questions is very different. For a stronger leadership image, when asking a question, speak along the speech stairs and end on a downward step (i.e., lower inflection) just as you would normally for statements. Avoid ending the question with upward inflection.


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Compare the difference. Model each question first with upward inflection and then again ending in a lower tone.

Can this be done by Friday?          Can this be done by Friday?
Before you leave, may I speak with you?         Before you leave, may I speak with you?
Is this correct?       Is this correct?

Did you find the question that ended in a lower tone to sound more confident and to have better leadership positioning? The language was the same in both examples but the questions that ended in a higher pitch sounded doubtful, lacked confidence with uncertainty. One reason for this is when statements end with upward inflection, the vocal pitch sounds thinner and higher and even young. Lower and richer vocal tones radiate more leadership presence and sound confident.

In a professional setting when you want to be viewed as a leader, bring questions down in pitch and end in a lower tone. If this is new behavior for you, it will feel funny at first. Often, my clients ask me if they sound mean or cold posing questions with a lower tone. Like anything else, when you learn something new, it is going to feel awkward at first and then it will start to feel natural with practice. When you end a question in a lower tone, your speech rate is more naturally controlled, making your articulation sharper, which sounds more professional and intentional. You are also sending your sound waves to your lower throat where your optimal pitch range is placed, positioning you to speak with more powerful and stronger tones. When asking staff questions in a meeting or delivering a presentation, pose questions ending in a lower tone for a stronger leadership persona.

This is one small example on how are to use communication strategically for a higher degree of leadership positioning. As you work through course two, many strategies and techniques will be revealed on how you can further enhance your “Personal Leadership Brand” though effective communication.
Thank you for participating in this free lesson. I hope you found it insightful and helpful. I wish you great success!

Liz Peterson, M.A., CCC-SLP


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