Communication Refresher

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a half-day communication training with Michael from Mandel Communications.

It was a great refresher on the basics of making sure your audience hears what you want them to hear. Here are my top 5 takeaways.

1. The importance of being listener focused
In the first 2 minutes or any conversation/presentation, a listener must be able to answer the questions:
– Why are you meeting with me?
– What do you want me to do?
– How can I be sure this is a good idea?

2. Your competition
Your #1 competitor is the status quo or no-decision. Often you are battling the listener’s apathy. Crafting your message to help a listener move from the status quo is a real art and takes a lot of practice.

3. Three levels of communication
– nice to know
– should know
– must know (focus your effort in communication here)

During the presentation a colleague leaned over to me with an “aha” moment. Since my colleague is a highly relational person, he realized that he often focuses on the nice to know and should know because context and relationship is a high value for him. Generally, I only care about the “must know”. We realized this was causing misses in our communication with each other.

4. 10-20-30 principle for presentations
No more than 10 slides
No more than 20 minutes
Use 30pt font

5. Pausing
This is perhaps the easiest delivery skill to improve on. Pausing allows the audience to process what you are saying and subconsciously portrays confidence which builds trust with your audience.

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