You are a very good communicator. You spend a lot of your daily life communicating with your friends, family, colleagues. Still when we are presenting or meeting in formal business communications, a lot of us tighten up. But communications as we find over a period of time is not only our work product but also our most primary process.
Following four basic principles will make sure that you not only know where you are going but you also make sure that you get there:
– Objective: Defining objective should always, let me say this again, ALWAYS come first. If you don’t know where you are going, no road can get you there. So before you start formulating any plans or working out any strategies, define your objectives in expressive details. The best way to do this is to use verbs – and very expressive verbs at that. Every verb has its nuances. Use the specific and strong verbs. For example, instead of to express use the words to announce.
– Analyse your audience: How we speak to our children is different from how we speak to an adult. Similarly our communications are different for a large group vs a small group, our boss vs our employees, and our friends vs. strangers. Ask yourself: who is my audience and what do I want my audience to feel, understand and believe? What is their level of knowledge, points of resistance and negative perceptions? Keep in mind short attention spans of your audiences and get to your point as quickly as possible.
– Develop and use good technique: Like playing a sport. Have a larger goal but then you make out the plan. According to that plan, you make out your technique and develop your skills. It comes with practice and effort. Pay attention to small details at this stage. If you are just rambling without a clear technique then all you do is fill up your audiences mind with unfocused ideas.
– Strong finish: Summary and a call to action are an absolute must. The management mantra I have found particularly useful in all sorts of communications and the flow of all communications should be:
- Tell them what you are going to tell them
- Tell them
- Tell them what you have just told them
A good summary will make sure that everyone understands what has been talked about and they now know what is expected of them.