How To Communicate Effectively
The more I speak in front of groups of professional men and women, the more I appreciate the power of communication. This year, I’ve expanded my speaking opportunities and have traveled the country speaking to hundreds of professionals on human dynamics. It’s been great to have the work and humbling to know that people value my presentations.
Recently, I reviewed past surveys to see what people liked or didn’t like about my presentations. I noticed a trend where my delivery style got the highest marks. I decided to breakdown my delivery style and evaluate what seems to work with audiences. Based on the written feedback from previous events, I’ve boiled it down to these six elements:
1. Energy. If I’m not passionate about my topic, why would anyone else care? I’m usually exhausted after a speaking gig, because I expend so much energy during a talk. Energy is important when communicating a message. Show energy when you communicate with others and it will become contagious.
2. Conversational style. My lovely wife, Alia, gave me the best advice when communicating with others, especially groups of people. Have a conversation with your audience. Engage them, be interactive, be relaxed, like having coffee with a friend.
3. The use of first names. I once read that a person’s favorite word is their own first name. People like to hear their name and they respond when it’s used. I’ve made a point to learn people’s names and try to use their names as often as possible during a talk or conversation. Folks approach me after a presentation and state how they liked that I used a person’s name in the audience during my talk. Using names personalizes the interaction and enhances the experience.
4. Action items. People are busy, so don’t waste time and add value. I provide tangible action items that will enhance the lives with those that I interact. Bring value when you interact with others. Offer solutions.
5. Be organized and focused. I don’t ramble. I get to the point and I’m organized with my thoughts. I deliver my message, offer value, and I move on to the next topic. Be prepared when you converse with others. Don’t speak for the sake of speaking unless you have something of value to add.
6. Gratefulness. I appreciate when someone gives me their time and attention. I try to never take someone’s time for granted and I approach each interaction and presentation with a spirit of gratitude and then proceed to deliver the best message possible. Never waste someone’s time with empty words, or unorganized thoughts. If you appreciate their time and are grateful for their attention, you communicate more effectively.
My job is to communicate. I’m paid to deliver effective messages that will leave an impact on others. I truly value and appreciate the power of communication. If done correctly, words can truly alter human behavior, inspire change, and transform opinions. Success is never too far when you master communication. Which of the six elements of effective communication will you implement into your next interaction?