While there might not be a magic formula for effective communication, there are specific strategies we can use to become more compelling communicators.
And while there are many aspects of communication to focus on that quickly make us feel daunted, we're going to focus on three significant points to help you ramp up your communication at work.
In this lesson, I share three common communication issues and their solutions to help you speak with impact and lead confidently.
If you're ready, let's get into it.
Alright, here are three common communication problems and how to remedy them.
(1) You Didn't Prepare the Right Way.
With preparation comes excellent consideration for the audience. Who are they? What do they want to hear? Why are they listening to this presentation? What do they hope to get out of this meeting? It's imperative to think about the "so what" if you want your presentation to resonate with the audience. So as you're preparing your materials, meeting notes, and presentation, keep the audience in mind. Tailor your presentation to their needs and goals. Figure out your WHY so make sure to make that your priority as you prepare.
(2) You Are Not Giving The Right Details
The level of detail you provide will vary depending on your audience. In other words, how much granular information you give is contingent upon the seniority level of the people you interact with. For example, to your fellow teammates, you'll provide more of your thought process with how you solved a complex problem. They'll want to see how you arrived at the solution and how you decided it was the best viable solution to that problem. In other words, you'll need to show your work because it can help them with their problem-solving and daily tasks. However, if you're speaking to upper-level management, such as your manager, your board, senior stakeholders, your director, or your CEO, then you're going to focus on your results and solutions. Keep the communication high-level, and if they want to see the work, you can provide them with it. But for the most part, they'll be interested in the results and solutions. So keep these different situations in mind when considering how much detail to provide in your communication.
(3) You Have No Roadmap.
Communicating without a clear roadmap or plan is a recipe for ineffective communication. Now, with a roadmap, you're thinking about critical points you want to address. You are not scripting out your talking points verbatim. That will result in being stiff, and you'll risk forgetting what you want to say. Instead, having a few questions to think about is much more effective as you're preparing your talking points. Some questions you can address as you're creating your roadmap are: (a) what are the main points I need to address? (b) can you categorize them into themes and have an overarching topic? (c) what is the purpose of this meeting? (d) and how can you align to their expectations of what to walk away from this conversation having learned?
These strategies will help take some of the guesswork out of effective communication, so you don't feel like you're walking in the dark, wondering if the audience is following you or not. To recap, here are the three communication strategies to implement: (1) preparing the right way by keeping the audience in mind, (2) providing the correct amount of detail based on the seniority level of the audience, and (3) having a clear roadmap before you jump into conversations you'll find that no problem is too big to solve and no conversation is too daunting to have.
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