Executive Communications: The Leader as Community Storyteller

with Nathaniel James, Nathaniel James Consulting

Nonprofit leaders can access a powerful set of Executive Communications resources to inform, inspire, and drive support to their organizations, including (but not limited to): public speaking; interviewing for news stories; digital video and audio; opinion editorials and other writing. Even a well crafted email can spark huge change. People usually respond more strongly to personal stories than impact metrics, and they form more significant relationships with visible, relatable leaders than with “brands.” At a time when technology makes each of us more visible (especially top leaders for organizations), one public misstep can trigger a crisis of trust and reputation. Approaching Executive Communications with strategic rigor and narrative creativity can open doors for organizations and help leaders avoid or mitigate damaging errors. This is why large companies hire communications strategists and writers who work exclusively on their leadership’s voice and presentation, distinct from general organizational communications and marketing, crafting their message to key stakeholders, the communities they serve, and the broader public.

While most nonprofits can’t dedicate the same level of resources to Executive Communications, any nonprofit leader can approach their own messages strategically and creatively and leverage the power of their own voice and personal story to support their organization’s strategy and build stronger communities.

Most nonprofit leaders are wonderful communicators. However, time is tight, and urgent operational priorities often crowd out the time it takes to identify Executive Communications opportunities and craft a powerful leadership message. Becoming more visible also triggers anxiety in most people. In this session, participants will learn from the discipline of Executive Communications. They’ll leave with a fresh perspective on their voice, story, and public persona; a step-by-step primer for crafting a core Executive Communications message; and tricks for rapidly turning a blank page into a first draft for their next major leadership message.

Session Slides