There are more ways to express yourself today than ever before; however, the medium is not the message, and there is no point expressing yourself in the business and work arena if no one is paying attention.
Some people have presence and a natural talent for getting others to tune in, but most people need to work on communication skills – especially the old-fashioned talking variety.
While this may take effort, the good news is that you can experience dramatic results with perseverance and regular practice.
If your colleagues are busier chatting than listening when you give a presentation or make a suggestion in a meeting, try these tips for attaining the focus you deserve.
Pick your moment
There is no need to respond to everything being said for the sake of hearing your own voice; instead, give input when you have a solid contribution to make and you will gain a reputation as someone who speaks when they have something of significance to say.
Timing is also important – try to find a gap during the discussion when you can put your views across without competing for attention or speaking over someone else.
Keep it short
Make sure you can deliver responses and suggestions in a concise manner. Long, waffly statements not only take up too much of everyone’s time but also you will lose their interest and attention as you drone on.
Be prepared so that you can put your view out there with minimum words and maximum impact.
Try to incorporate a single item of action when speaking in a group discussion or giving a presentation. This keeps your contribution focused, positive, and adds something useful, rather than just disagreeing with or negating what is already out there.
When people listen to a talk, generally they will only take about three points away from it, so make it easy and give them one great action point that they can remember and feel enthusiastic about.
The power of positive thinking
Deliver your message with a smile. Look interested and receptive when others are speaking; in turn, they should be respectful and listen with an open mind when you deliver your thoughts.
If colleagues think you are only waiting for them to finish so that you can take the floor, they may not be particularly interested in listening to what you have to say when it is your turn.
Good communicators do not just talk; in addition, they pay colleagues the courtesy of listening when they speak. Apart from being polite, this means you can respond to what they are saying when it is your turn.
They might even say something useful that can add depth to what you are going to say.
Responding to and validating what others have contributed shows that you are respecting their point of view, which should encourage them to listen when you speak.
When a discussion is going on and the ideas start to go around in circles, you can be the voice of reason and cultivate influence by highlighting the most significant views and putting them together in a coherent way, capping it all off with an impressive point of your own.
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