Like it or not, every single day we are practicing communication: negotiating with people, interacting and making presentations.
This can be as simple as how we say hello when meeting someone for the first time, or as nerve-wracking as standing in front of an audience of a thousand people and making a speech.
The basics of what you need for communication mastery can be summed up in five rather eloquent points.
Although they may appear simple, I promise you that if you use them effectively, the way people respond to you will dramatically change for the better!
Let’s get started…
the 5 Critical Things You Need to Do for Communication Mastery
- Give Value and Offer More Than Expected. If you are speaking to an audience, make sure they receive handouts of your presentation. Handouts should include the key points, or send them to a web site for more information they can download. Make sure you offer something of perceived value, or something people will welcome.
When you under-promise and over-deliver people will remember you. They will be appreciative and want to return the kindness. That’s called Reciprocity— we are hot-wired to return a kindness.
- If you want people to be engaged, you have to Vary How You Speak to Them. People/audiences process information four times faster than we present it. This means you cannot just ramble off words in a monotone fashion, because your audience may be looking at you, but their minds and their attention will be a million miles away.
You need to treat your voice and your delivery like a musical instrument. This means varying the tempo, the tone, the rhythm and even your body language.
- Ask For Input – to make sure you are getting your message across, be constantly asking for feedback/input. Examples: “Does this make sense, are you with me, do you have any questions?”
By asking for feedback you have the ability to gauge your audience’s engagement and then make changes to your delivery accordingly.
(I have been using the word “audience” but what I am sharing with you works when you are speaking one-to-one or one-to-many).
- If you want to be more confident, Turn the Unknowns into Knowns! I love this quote from Tony Jeary because it speaks to the heart of why people get nervous or feel uncomfortable with public speaking.
We get nervous or experience fear from the unknown – from being unprepared. The best way to eliminate that feeling is to do your research, know your topic and know your audience. When you take the “Unknown to the Known” that nervousness goes away and makes you more confident.
- Be Yourself, Tell the Truth and Be Real. We live in an age of fake news and altered truths. As a result, people are desperately looking for authenticity in communication.
By being yourself and telling the truth, you will never have to second-guess what you say or the persona of who you think you have to be. Be yourself and people will resonate with you and be attracted to you.
And if they don’t like what you have to say, well that’s ok too. Not everyone, everywhere will agree, but at least you have been true to yourself and can hold your head up high!
I know a lot of our members are pro speakers and presenters- what tips do YOU have to share that help make communication easier or more impactful? We’d love to hear it- just leave us a comment below.