We can always improve our communication – always! Not all of us will be required to give formal speeches on a stage with hundreds of people. However, each day you give a series of mini-speeches to audiences ranging in size, of matters differing in importance. You don’t need to be a keynote speaker to need effective communication skills. So, no matter where you feel you are in your ability to speak publicly or intimately, consider the following when having your next interaction:
- Be the Best Version of YOU – It’s been said since we were preschool – “just be yourself!” I would add, try to be the best version of yourself in the following ways:
- Be Distinct. There is something about you that makes you different from others. You are bold or italic, but never ordinary. Your passion and energy are contagious. This requires confidence and the ability to be comfortable with who you really are. If you allow yourself to be that individual, you’ll get others’ attention.
- Be Confident and At Ease. This might seem easier said than done, but you have the ability to channel anxiety if you are prepared. Be passionate and educated about what you have to say and confidence will come. With confidence comes ease – which makes you all the more persuasive to those around you.
- Be Aware of Your Look and Sound. Dress for whatever the occasion – from the normal work day to important events – be deliberate about how you appear and the impressions you give. Also, we all have bad communication habits. Do your best to identify what they are and weed them out through conscious efforts. Nervous mannerisms, as well as, “ums” and “likes,” distract and discredit.
- At the Same Time, Recognize…It’s Not All About You. Being your best self is important, but so is recognizing it’s not all about you.
- Replace Your Ego with Empathy. Shift the focus from “I” to “you.” Doing this will help you develop topics and approaches that consider your audience and their concerns. Being aware of those you are presenting to will help you craft a narrative that will properly educate, inspire, and motivate those individuals to action.
- Show You Care. Engage with everyone in a manner that helps them believe their opinions, questions, and input are desired and appreciated. Make your interactions just that – an experience where there is interaction and contribution is wanted.
- Situational Awareness. Being an effective leader requires adaptability. Be willing and able to read your audience and know when to dial the energy up, dial it down and/or dial it off! Being able to adjust easily to unexpected changes is necessary. Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t need to be – if you enter your situation feeling confident about the subject matter, you’ll be able to navigate successfully while perceiving the real-time needs of who you are talking with.
Just remember, speak with intention. Successful leadership and speaking is about embracing who you are talking to and leading while having conviction in your words and goals. Become the best version of yourself by visiting, chuckgarcia.com.