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Speaking badly in public.  It now has a name: “Pulling a Charlie Sheen.” 

Charlie Sheen and leadership lessons in the same sentence? 

No way, you say.

No matter what you think of the Two and a Half Men actor’s rants, and no matter what the cause for this behavior, there are lessons all leaders can take away from Mr. Sheen’s recent behavior. It's more about looking at Sheen's behavior as a template for what NOT to do.

Whether you are speaking internally or externally, talking to the media or to a group of team members or even customers, there are five speaking behaviors to avoid.   

Let’s call them the “Don’t Do What Charlie Did” list: 

1.    Don’t speak off the cuff.  Have a preplanned agenda. It can be as simple as two main points, but stick to your planned ideas.  The worst thing you can do is have no thought of what you will be saying next. And reporters or even customers can ask questions that can pull you away from your agenda. Stick to your plan!
2.    DON’T RAMBLE. There should be a logic to what you will be talking about. Listeners like a sense of structure, an easily followed “first, second, third” flow of ideas. Try to connect the dots for your audience so they can follow your logic.
3.    DON’T ANSWER IMMEDIATELY. When a tough question comes up from a team member or customer, take a few seconds to gather your thoughts. No one is going to time how many seconds you took to respond. Be pensive and think through your response.
4.    DON’T LET YOUR EGO SHOW. No one likes someone who is full of himself. Stop talking about how great you and your plans are.  What would this audience like or need to hear? Make your statements outward facing, not inward.

When speaking in public--whether you're a movie star or a manager--you need to have focus,
direction and a message that people can understand!

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Loraine Antrim is co-founder of Core Ideas Communication, a communications consulting agency focused on presentation development and media training for C-suite executives. Core Ideas enables executives to package and communicate relevant and compelling messages in their presentations and interviews. Loraine's expertise is killing butterflies. You know, butterflies: the feeling in your stomach before you have to present or speak in public. Loraine works with executives to create a powerful story, memorable messages and an authentic delivery style. Confidence kicks in, and butterflies scatter. Nice work killing butterflies! You can contact Loraine at: manager at coreideas.com