Thursday, March 10, 2011
A Quick Guide to Communication
I have the pleasure of serving the Dale Carnegie Training Institute as a Graduate Assistant. We help individuals develop their human relations skills through public speaking and interpersonal communication.
There are 3 distinct hurdles to communication:
When introducing a topic it is best to set a scene as if you were a narrator. Paint a picture, tell a story.
Don't start a story or speech with "so...this way, like, 3 years ago...".
Bring us into your painting and walk us through it with graceful elegance.
The need to transition from one idea to another is part of giving a speech, presentation, or simply talking on a conference call. This is called a segue way. As your thought processing shifts you will naturally say "..um or ahh...".
It is extremely difficult to self-analyze your flow of communication. In Dale Carnegie's Presentation Skill Building, we video tape speakers and help them break down their process. It is understandably painful to watch.
Not everyone has a video camera but try to become aware of your communication process. Navigate your segue ways with a pause...silence is golden!
By eliminating so, um, and aaaa...you instantly enhance your credibility!
Think about the people who have inspired you. They most likely speak with confidence, conviction, and passion. It doesn't matter if you are talking about the culinary arts, fashion or cold fusion. If you have a strong flow of ideas that work in smooth syncopation you will be valued as an expert.
You should take up every opportunity to practice your communication style. You will likely never see the person next to you on the plane again. 20 minutes after take off, strike up a conversation and practice your process.
You should take up every opportunity to speak publicly. Go to toast masters, enroll in a Dale Carnegie course or give your insight at a town hall meeting.
You should arrange a speech by the following process:
Introduction - paint a picture
Body - have bullet points in mind
Conclusion - deliver a moral
It is really important to practice before a speech but deadly to memorize a speech. Never memorize a speech word for word. Know your bullet point topics and talk around them. Think of a speech in terms of a PowerPoint presentation. Segue way from slide to slide with grace and speak to no more than 3 bullet points per slide (sub-topics).
Do not get caught up in detail. Do not get side traked by foot notes. Every audience is a novice to your Mind...allow them a peek without drowning them in your every thought development.
1. Paint a picture (right away)
2. Be aware of your segue ways
3. Eliminate so, um and aaa
4. Deliver your ideas with syncopated passion
5. Rehearse but don't memorize
Don't Forget to Remember!