Do you speak with clarity, impact, and influence?
When you speak and write, do you have the ability to convince people to do what you want or to believe what you want?
Those with the power to achieve those results are in demand. People want to be on their teams, want to follow their lead, and trust what they say. Effective communicators tend to get noticed, heard, remembered, and, eventually, promoted.
Effective communication is not easy. It takes depth of thought, planning, and practice. The concepts that lead to persuasive communication are very straight forward; they begin with personal authenticity and open, honest, clear communication skills.
Here are five of the important aspects. If you put these into practice, you will enjoy much more success and much less conflict, confusion, disappointment, resentment and miscommunication.
- Have a clear goal every time you speak. If you start with a specific goal for your communication opportunity, your preparation will be quicker, of better quality, and more focused. Only when you are clear of your desired outcome can you realize that goal and articulate it well so that your followers will be able to grasp your vision and understand your message.
- Spend time thinking about the needs and desires of your audience. Before designing the outline for a presentation or a meeting, spend some time thinking about the current mindset of your audience. Don’t spend all your time thinking about what you want to say; instead, consider the issues your audience cares about. What will encourage them to say “yes” or “no” to your requests? How can you deliver what they would want? How can you persuade them to your beliefs and ideals? Be sure to discover those needs through active listening and the encouragement of collaborative input. If you do your homework ahead of delivering your message you will have a much greater chance of getting the outcome you desire.
- Make the benefits to your audience the common denominator to every aspect of your message. Do you want to persuade your listeners? Then make the benefits to them the highlight of your message. If your message lacks clear benefits, you will struggle to persuade the audience. People want to know: “what’s in it for me?” Filling needs, answering concerns, and providing solutions for issues faced will usually foster agreement, collaboration and cooperation.
- Be authentic and sincere. When you deliver your message, speak honestly and openly. Do it in your own personal style, as if you were merely speaking to a friend. Be sincere. When you speak, demonstrate to the audience your passion for the topic. Be inspirational with true stories as examples. Everyone can relate to personal stories and they are best for convincing people to see your perspective and lean toward agreeing with you.
- Practice. Acquiring any new skill requires coaching and instruction, research and dedication. However, without sufficient practice, all the books and learning will not make you better. This is especially true for communication. The amount of effort you exert by practising until you are familiar with your topic, know it as best you can frontwards; backwards, inside out, upside down, and in your sleep, will determine your success and your own confidence in your ability to do this well! When you are capable of clearly, authentically, and honestly sharing your expertise for the benefit of your audience, you will know that your communication skills have become effective. By the way, do NOT memorize your message, know it well so that you can deliver it naturally and authentically.
When you employ all these elements, you will be greatly increasing the chances that you will connect with your audience, making your discussion more valuable, engaging and fun for them. That translates into meaning that you will be more likely to enjoy a successful meeting, phone call, conversation, or presentation and achieve the outcome you want.
Effective communication is necessary for any business person to achieve the results they desire with their team, their customers/clients, their subcontractors and their suppliers. Your brand is you, you represent your company, do it with authenticity, clarity, impact, and influence!