When it comes to achieving success, what is a proven resource every hard-working professional needs to know if they want to be confident that their success is authentic and will stand the test of time?
The simple answer is Effective Communication. But unfortunately, this underused tool is overlooked time and time again. Too often, we bypass the necessary preparation it takes to put together an impactful message that engages our audience, customers, and employees. I know some of you are already thinking, "That's not me. I'm positive everyone I speak to is hanging on every word I say. I don't need to think about what I will discuss ahead of time. I work 'off the cuff,' and there's never any misunderstanding." Wow, you're amazing. You can stop reading right now. I have nothing for you. For everyone else, I have five helpful tips that may up your communication game and give you the lasting results you're looking to achieve.
- Take the time to write out and organize your thoughts. Keep your focus on one main topic with up to three supporting points. More than that, you risk diluting your message.
- Practice what you're going to say. The more comfortable you are with your message, the more confident you'll become in giving it.
- Have a good story that relates to your presentation. It could be a challenge that you faced, an unexpected journey, or a plot twist you didn't expect. Put your body and voice to work to bring the action to life, and your boring speech becomes fun and dynamic.
- Your listeners will be more attentive when you interact with them. Open the floor to questions and suggestions. Give out fun prizes to those who participated. If you have a particular phrase or quote that you want to become memorable, have it printed on a few t-shirts or coffee mugs as your giveaway. You may find a higher response rate from your group the next time you're in front of them. We all like to win stuff.
- After your meeting, stay around and make yourself available for people who may have questions but were too shy to speak up. Take the time to ask for any feedback your audience may have for you. A great leader listens to constructive criticism and appreciates the opportunity to improve.
In this world of technology, where text is king, I believe the art of conversation is more important than ever. There's very little room for misunderstanding when exchanging ideas face to face. We can immediately discern how our words are landing and quickly clear up any issues that may arise.
Please don't lie to yourself and think there's nothing more to learn when presenting your ideas. We can continually improve our speaking skills, which sets us apart from everyone else. A little time and effort go a long way in raising our self-esteem and boosting our confidence when talking to others.
So says the person writing an article instead of making a video. I get the irony.