What if you could make the whole world stop and listen to you?
As any leader or professional, communication is a skill that is highly valued. And also one of the components of Executive Presence, along with gravitas and appearance. Turns out that you don’t need to be a highly trained public speaker or the President of the United States to communicate effectively. The truth is that we can practice our communication skills everyday. With practice, you can become a leader that speaks authentically and powerfully. Follow these tips to master your voice, so you can make a BIG difference in your community and the world.
1. Be Succinct.
I’m not going to elaborate profusely on this. Instead, I will do as I say. It’s 2015. Nobody has time to beat around the bush. Cut the point.
2. Be Prepared.
Being over prepared might even be better. This refers to any conversations, speeches, or interviews. Be informed about local and relevant current events. Take notes if you need to, and be sure you have studied them. Have a few stories in the back of your mind for reference. Be ready to talk about anything. Know what questions you may be asked, and plan and practice your answers ahead of time. This will prevent you from mumbling, stuttering, and will lessen your chance of use terrible words like “ummm” and “like.”
3. Be Conversational. Listen.
In a one-on-one meeting, you want to be someone easy that is easy to talk to, especially in professional environment. Take a dinner party for instance. It takes a while to master the skill of being able to hold a conversation with a person you just met. Try to find something you have in common in order to relate to them. Listen closely to what they are saying.
4. Be Aware Of Your Body Language.
Did you know that only a small percentage of communication involves actual words? 7%, to be exact. In fact, 55% of communication is visual (body language, eye contact) and 38% is vocal (pitch, speed, volume, tone of voice). The world’s best leaders & communicators have strong body language: a commanding presence that reflects confidence, competence, and charisma. Stand tall through your spine with equal weight on both feet. Make eye contact. Keep your hands relaxed at your side. Breathe deeply and calmly.
5. Be Authentic.
The most important thing is to be YOU. Sometime you feel that you don’t “click” with a person, which can feel frustrating. Sometimes you may feel like you need to act a certain way to “fit in,” which can make you feel awkward or unsure. All things aside, be confident in who you are. Know yourself- your values, goals, & dreams- and speak from the heart. Practice making more “I Statements.” Example: I feel that____. I know that _____. I believe in ________.
Take off the mask and quit trying to act “how you are supposed to act.” Just simply be you.
To practice these skills, start small. Start conversations within your group of friends and family, then work your way into your workplace and beyond. Communication is a skill that takes a LOT of practice.
Now, I ask: