Join Jeff Ansell for an in-depth discussion in this video Knowing what to say, part of Communicating with Confidence.
- Preparation is essential when it comes to communicating with confidence, especially if the conversation is difficult and especially, if it's an important presentation. Strong content is critical. A confident communicator without meaningful content is quickly exposed regardless of how good their speaking skills may be. What every communicator needs are messages. Messages are what we want people to come away with. First, simple words always work best.
As I like to say don't talk fancy. That means use words so simple that someone with English as a third language understands everything you say. The next important element to creating messages is to use short sentences, and I must tell you for many people that's not easy because we often use conjunctions to link our thoughts, which by itself elongates the sentence and those conjunctives include and, but, which, rather, however, because, whereas, and respect of, and the end of this sentence becomes elusive, and racing brain syndrome is responsible for some of it, and at the end of the sentence, listeners come away with a muddled message because really, what I just done is a mind dump making for one long sentence.
That sentence had 100 words in it. That was a mouthful. Many of us cram as many words possible into a sentence and sometimes one thought leads to another, which reminds us of this, and oh yes, I must tell you that. So what to do instead? Make your point and put a period in there. Make your next point and put a period in there. One thought, one time, one short sentence. For some, the process of determining what to say can be frustrating, intimidating, and time consuming.
During the preparation process, many people aren't certain of how to get their creative juices flowing. For some, the problem lies with how to structure what it is they say. Without meaningful structure, the end result can be a hodgepodge of disassociated ideas that leave people confused or disinterested, and make the person talking look unfocused, and sound as if they're rambling. When that happens the speaker's credibility is questioned and what they say comes across as unclear.
So while you're preparing your messages, identify your desired outcome. Are you hoping to persuade people? Are you introducing a new idea? What is it you need to consider the conversation or presentation a success? Then, determine the words that best illustrate how you want to come across. Is it confident? Is it inspiring? What words best speak to how you want to be seen? Once you settle on your desired outcome and choose the words to convey how you want to be seen, you're ready to put your thoughts together.
- 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