Clear communication is at the root of every human interaction. It’s about listening to others and hearing their message loud and clear. Whether you work as a rocket scientist, an entrepreneur, or a classroom teacher communication will be at the heart of everything you do. If you are a parent, an employee, or an employer you may have experienced firsthand what it’s like to have misunderstandings based on miscommunication. Every relationship on the planet relies on clear communications, whether these are through writing, speaking, or both.
The question you want to begin with is:
“Are you happy with your current level of communication skills?”
If you’ve answered yes, then you may stop reading right now. But, if you’ve answered no (which is more likely the case), then please keep reading to learn more about my five tips for crafting and delivering information in a clear and concise manner.
#1 Choose an appropriate topic.
If you are speaking on behalf of yourself or your company, then make sure to choose the best possible topic and lead with that as you begin. If you want to make a point with your family members, position your topic in a way that will allow for an open discussion once you’ve made your relevant points.
The crucial thing here would be to focus on what you know best. By this I mean you want to share your perspective on your topic in a way that gets your feelings and beliefs across, while not being judgmental or opinionated. Provide examples of how you see the topic playing out over time so that it’s a win-win.
#2 Know your audience.
The way you would communicate with your employees, your boss, or people you serve with on the board of a non-profit organization would differ from how you communicate with your spouse or young children. This is based on your relationships with each person and the goals you have in mind when you begin speaking or writing to get your ideas across in a way that will be effective.
It’s critical that you understand your audience and what they are wanting and expecting to hear. If you fail to deliver the right information, or fail to deliver your information in the right way – you’ll leave your audience cold and unimpressed. This is where persuasion comes into the clear communication process, but we will leave that discussion for another day.
#3 Hone in on your key message.
Determine in advance what it is that you want and need to communicate to the other person or people involved.
Only go into as much detail as is warranted by the situation. If you want to communicate to your employee a new method of checking in inventory and passing information along to the next department, you do not need to explain in detail the accounting process involved and the steps used in production of the final product. It isn’t necessary and may lead to confusion or miscommunication. Stick to “just the facts” and everyone will benefit.
#4 Make your content engaging as you communicate.
Tell stories. I learned how to do this effectively as a classroom teacher and carried it over to my real estate business. This allowed me to make my points and to enroll my listeners as I explained important concepts and ideas.
Scientific research has shown that the brains of people reading or listening to stories are more engaged and stimulated than when they simply hear hard facts, so we know storytelling works for clear communication.
Stories help us to learn new things and to enjoy the magic and mystery of the world. When it comes to delivering captivating presentations, make sure you have plenty of relevant stories to tell.
#5 Provide solutions as you write or speak.
If you want to inspire action, you must deliver solutions during your presentations. If you don’t you are asking for trouble, because your audience will draw their own conclusions that may be out of congruence with what you were attempting to convey to them.
Whatever you are being asked to communicate, look for ways to embed practical tips those listening to or reading from you can easily remember and adopt.
Take a look at what communications expert Clay Morgan has to say in this post on Bridging Your Communication Gaps:
Communication is a bridge.
Life is an ongoing series of communication, and communication is a bridge. We stand on one side with all the information we want our audience to know, whether it’s how to do something or who we are or how fabulous our products and services are. We build one bridge after the next in a never-ending series of communication construction projects.
I speak and write regularly on the topic of becoming and succeeding as an entrepreneur. I make sure to include plenty of “how to” tips, as I want my audience to not just hear my story – but to know how to create their own story too.
I’d love to hear your experiences, thoughts and your own stories around this topic of clear communication.
I’m author and online marketing strategist Connie Ragen Green. I work with entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of online income and would love to connect with you. Download my Online Entrepreneur’s Blueprint and get started right away.