Join Jeff Ansell for an in-depth discussion in this video Connecting with others, part of Communicating with Confidence.
- Connecting with others mean making it about the person you're talking to, or if it's a group, the people you're talking to. We do that by turning every important communication into a two-way communication. I define meaningful two-way communication very simply as the delivery of one thought at one time. Whether it's a one-on-one conversation during a meeting at work or school or in a large presentation setting, one thought at one time, and focus on the one thought as you say it.
Delivering one thought at one time slows down the racing brain. Delivering one thought at one time keeps you in the present instant. By focusing on that one thought, Mother Nature will kick in and give you the right facial expression to match your thought, the right vocal inflection to match your thought, plus you gain the ability to have greater mastery over what you say and how you choose to say it. Equally as important is that one thought, one time allows you to gauge the reaction of those you're talking to.
You're paying attention to them, not to yourself. So you're determining how people are responding to what you say as you say it. One thought, one time lets you gauge whether people are understanding the information you're presenting. It lets you pay more attention to the people you're talking to, instead of focusing it, fixating on yourself. So let's give this a for instance. Let's imagine you're delivering a presentation to your company's executive team and you ask them to double your marketing budget.
In that instance, someone mired in the endless loop trap, snared in that one-way style of communication, would be deep in their head, with their brain racing onto the next thought and the thought after that. What if the executive team says no? What if the executive team pushes back? What do I do then? Do I have a plan if they say no? Oh, no, I just saw my boss rolling her eyes and shaking her head no. What do I do now? What do I say now? Usually in the instant we catch the eye roll and head shake, we almost pretend we didn't see it because if we did, that might mean we would need to address it.
So instead, we keep going, barreling through, likely speaking even more quickly than before. On the other hand, when a two-way communicator makes the request to double the marketing budget, they're paying careful attention to how executives in the room respond, especially the people considered to be the key influencers. If a two-way communicator sees the boss rolling her eyes and shaking her head no, the person speaking has a choice. The first choice is to address the boss's concern by saying something like, "I realize we're experiencing budgetary restraints and that my request isn't coming at the best time.
Here's why it's a good move that could, in fact, grow our business." And then they go on to explain. The second choice is to note the boss's reaction and deal with it later, maybe even during a coffee break. There's no right or wrong choice here, but at the very least, you're making that decision in real time, in that instant. A two-way communicator pays attention to how people receive their information, one thought at one time, giving them the presence of mind to be agile and responsive in the moment. Connecting to your audience, thought by thought, centers you.
- Organizing your thoughts
- Speaking slowly, naturally, and confidently
- Breathing properly
- Using your body to reinforce speech
- Managing facial expressions
- Handling nervousness
- Integrating voice modulation, eye contact, and hand gestures into a powerful and engaging communication style