Have you ever been in a situation where a young child is running after a ball and onto a road? You are yelling at him/her to stop but the child continues not realizing. Why is that?
The ball is creating enough distraction for the child that what you are saying is overlooked. We live in an era of distractions: I-pads, Smart phones, Laptops, TV, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp etc. are all distractions in today’s day and age. This makes it extremely difficult to cut through the clutter so that they can hear you. Communication skills are therefore critical today.
Starting today present using the following 9 tips:
- Focus on the audience: Communication is fruitful only if the person you are communicating with understands you. The focus of your presentation has to be the audience.
- Begin with the end in mind: Know what you want to communicate clearly before you start presenting. Do not waddle through with a vague idea of what you want to say.
- Don’t assume as it makes an ass of you and me: Never assume you know who you are talking to. Pay attention to even the tiniest details and always start by thinking in your mind “who am I talking to?” and paint a picture on what you know about the person. If you’re handling a group then knowing the individuals is generally useless and wastes time, instead look at the personality of the group as a whole.
- Put yourself in their shoes: Think from their point of view. If you are a seller, put yourself in the position of a potential customer and evaluate your product or service, then present accordingly.
- Quickly answer “Why do I care?”- Due to information overload audiences always have to choose what to listen. Thus as a presenter you have to make enough of a connect/impression in fraction of a minute for your communication to register as important.
- Ask yourself “what are 5 things I want my audience to remember?”– Giving too much content and not highlighting the parts which are important can be fatal to the communication. Narrow down the content and make sure you explain the important topics in a way that your audience will remember, don’t let the crucial part of the presentation fade into the background.
- Ask yourself “how will your audience feel after listening to you?” Plan how you want the audience to feel…Hopeful, excited, interested etc. If you are a salesman then after listening to you your audience should want to buy your product. If you are a trainer then after listening to you your audience should want to implement what they learnt.
- Call for action – Ask “what will your audience do after listening to you?” as a presenter you always have to make sure that your presentation will bring some results. Present in a manner that leads up to that call for action.
- Remove obstacles– There are 2 kinds of obstacles that can come your way:
- Environmental: There are things like technical problems or too much noise from the next room. There is almost nothing you can do about it other than plan to eliminate them beforehand or ignore them when they occur.
- Attitudinal: These are problems caused by a person or people who don’t want to hear what you are saying. For detailed ways to handle these kind of people watch this space.
Contributed by Lovely Kumar, Facilitator, Trainer, Psychometric Assessor
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