In this article (and video), I’m going to be focusing on clear communication.
As people can see you but not hear what you’re saying in a clear way.
Whether you’re going into a meeting, giving a presentation, gathering people in the workplace, speaking to customers, or on a personal level with family – clear communication is essential.
Have you ever been in a situation, meeting, engagement and thought – I don’t think they got what I was trying to say. OR I didn’t quite understand what they were saying.
If you feel frustration, pain or you’ve noticed on occasion, you’ve come away from the meeting and you don’t feel like both parties got the best out of that meeting, because you haven’t been a clear communicator, then you’re going to find this article really useful.
Let’s get into the 5 tips to clear communication.
Tip 1: Know Your Outcome
You cannot be clear in any communication unless you know what the outcome is that you want to achieve from this.
If you go into a meeting with lots of different outcomes and your brain’s thinking about something else, your body language is not connected with your message, well, the person watching you is going to be confused.
They won’t have clarity on what you’re trying to say because they’re following all these different lines of communication that you’re giving out (both verbal and non-verbal communication) and they’re thinking – What’s the point?
Unless you’ve got clarity on your outcome without any doubt, they’re not going to have clarity on your outcome either.
Tip 2: Know Their Outcome
Next, you’ve got to make sure that you know what the outcome is that they’re looking for.
A lot of people when giving a presentation are excited, which is great, but they don’t stop to question the outcome of the other person.
But if they’re looking for something over to the left and you’re trying to point them to the right, no one’s going to have clarity, not get to the outcome they want.
So make sure you’re clear (ideally upfront) on what the outcome is they’re looking to achieve or expect from the engagement with you.
Tip 3: Simple Equals Impact
Keep it simple to create impact.
I’ve got five points in this article/video, but I could easily have had 25 points, but imagine 25 points in this article you’d be overwhelmed and it wouldn’t have been that clear for you – possibly overwhelming.
Simplicity is just taking a complex idea and simplifying it, for example, out of this article you could just simply say the outcome is the most important thing. That will get you started and create impact instead of getting overwhelmed and avoiding doing anything all together.
Tip 4: Pause
It could be as simple as just pausing.
Pausing allows a person to process and they get clarity on what you’ve just said.
The way to acheive this is to complete a section, or important point you want to make and then pause. At this moment in time you can centre yourself and observe their non verbal communication (more and that in the next tip).
I’ve kept this section short so you can take a moment to pause, and think about what you’ve read so far.
Tip 5: Observe
The fourth thing is to watch them, it seems strange for this to be considered as clear communication. But from talking to literally hundreds of thousands of people over the years, by observing the other person(s), you will very quickly know if you are being clear in your communication.
Particularly face-to-face you can look at their:
- Facial gestures
- Feet movement
- Hand movement
- Breathing patterns
- What their shoulders are doing
- Overall body language
That will give you lots of clues as to whether they’ve got what you’re talking about or not.
Bonus Tip: Pace
The final thing (as a bonus) is to pace yourself.
Don’t try and chuck all the information out at them too quickly.
Regardless if you’ve got five minutes, ten minutes or sixty minutes. Think about how you want to pace those key messages, tie it into the outcome, simplicity, watching/observing and pausing. If this is done right you’ll create an impact.
As with all my communication lessons, we can’t just theorise. Go and try one of these tips out in your next communication and look out for improvements in your clear communication.