While it’s vital for leaders at every level to be good communicators for an efficient work environment, communication skills are crucial for one and all. But how do we capture the attention of our listeners?
"Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity." - Nat Turner
Short and Crisp
Just because you’ve been given the mike, doesn't mean you torture the listeners. Have mercy! Convey your points in the shortest manner possible.
“Humour is the best way to make the unbearable bearable.” - Mary Ann Shaffer
A joke or humorous anecdote is an effective way to begin speaking. Humor always captures the attention of the listeners and breaks the ice.
Keep it Interactive
Team-building games are good ice-breakers. They create a receptive atmosphere in the room, without taking up too much time.
The people you’re communicating with are not dumb. They get the point you’re trying to make, so don’t bombard them with unnecessary information.
"Communication must be HOT. That's Honest, Open and Two-way." - Dan Oswald
Speak from the Heart
The bitter truth is that people can call your bluff. The audience can see right through a facade. Speak only what you believe in.
"Success isn't just about what you accomplish in your life. It's about what you inspire others to do." - Anonymous
Speak to Inspire
No matter what your topic is, always speak to inspire the people you’re talking to. Leave out sarcasm and taunts.
Incorporate Current Affairs
Current events always capture people’s attention. People immediately tune into latest information, especially if it's about celebrities or social topics.
Use props and illustrations to make your point. Simple science experiments make great illustrations and help convey the point more effectively.
Often a picture or video helps convey the point quickly and accurately. However, make sure they're relevant and appropriate.
“Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.” – Les Brown
A pleasant smile always puts the opposite party at ease. This doesn’t mean you grin inappropriately and weird out your audience.
Maintain Eye Contact
Make sure you look at your listeners, giving equal attention to the entire room. This doesn’t mean you stare and freak out the people you’re talking to.
Pace and Tone
Maintain a friendly tone while speaking, not too loud or too soft. Don’t speak too fast or mumble the words. Key is to be slow enough to be heard clearly.
Avoid holding your hands behind your back as in school, or in attention as if in the military. Relax and allow your hands to emphasize what you speak.
Respect the Audience
Whether it's a small team or a large auditorium, respect the podium and respect your audience. Respect sends positive vibes in the room.
Be Quick to Switch
Don’t hover over a particular point for too long. The minute you feel you're losing your audience, switch to the next point or play a one-minute game.
"All communication must lead to change." - Aristotle