Outstanding Communication – a Taster

Lately, I have been engaged to speak on communication skills, as well as coaching a number of clients on how to not just speak in public but communicate effectively with outstanding results, and I wanted to share some top tips:

  1. Give people an experience. If your audience just wanted a download of information, they would look it up on the internet or read a book or a magazine. They are listening to you right now for something more. Give it to them. Do not inundate them with facts. Give them an experience they can’t get from a book. They are here for you. Know it. Own it.
  2. Who do you need to be? In any given day, while still essentially being ‘you’, you need to be very different things to different people. Some of it is an unconscious switch, like going from being the boss at work to being a mother or father to small children at home. We all have the ability to manage our state by changing the smallest thing. Put your shoulders back. Look up. Consciously choose who you need to be, and go ahead and ‘be’ that person. What you can give your audience will be incredible. If your audience needs a rock star, be a rock star. If you audience needs a healer, be a healer. BE who you need to be and serve your audience with all of your heart.
  3. Serve the room. Do this one thing and you will never, ever be nervous. Look at everyone in the room with love and care. Engage and connect with them. Expand your awareness. Ask yourself ‘how can I serve this room?’ and ‘What is it these people need from me that if I gave it to them, it would make the biggest difference?’ Give it to them. As the person in front of the room whether it be 1 or 1000 people, when you are speaking, you are the leader. Be a servant leader and serve them. When you focus on serving, it is impossible to be nervous. You can only be nervous when you are in your head. Speak from your heart. And, of course, be prepared.
  4. Yes times three. Get your audience to say yes (or at least nod) at least three times before you launch into what you have to say. The unconscious mind loves threes. When they nod, nod with them. You are now in rapport, and your audience is more open and receptive to what you have to say. This is called the Agreement Frame and is a powerful tool in forming a connection with and influencing people.
  5. Learning Styles. Some people learn visually, some by auditory means, and others by doing (kinaesthetic). Other people love data, facts and figures (Auditory Digital, otherwise known as the language of business). You are guaranteed to have all four styles in any audience, so use language that engages all types. To engage visual people, use words like ‘see’, ‘vision’ and ‘picture’ and use body language that means they look up. To engage auditory people, say things like ‘I hear you’, and ‘that sounds good’. Examples of kinaesthetic words are ‘feel’, ‘touch’ and ‘experience’. For maximum engagement, start with kinaesthetic, then auditory, then visual, otherwise known as a ‘KAV Opening’.
  6. Start with ‘why’. Simon Sinek explained in a TED Talk the importance of ‘Why’. Do the same when engaging your audience. Always start with ‘why’ you are talking about your topic. Only when you have talked about ‘why’, can you move onto ‘what’, then ‘how’, finishing with ‘what next’. Many people make the mistake of launching into ‘what’. Do that and you lose the ‘why’ people, and possibly a good portion of your audience.

What can you change about the way you communicate that will give you outstanding results?


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