Effective communication skills are key for everything we do.
From directing the Uber driver to your address to ordering a meal, we spend most of our lives communicating in one way or another.
Yet, it’s a task many of us struggle with.
In today’s fast-paced world, we expect instant answers in bite-sized chunks that we can easily digest and move on.
It’s a tall order and it can make communicating publicly quite daunting.
Thankfully, we can make it easier with three simple tips.
It’s easy to slip into the flow of jargon, especially in the workplace.
As a journalist, I’ve had many a discussion about splashes, nibs, DPs and, of course, the dreaded vox pop.
But that language is only acceptable when I’m speaking with journalists.
Elsewhere it must be tailored to my audience.
Jargon allows opportunity for misinterpretation, and that leads to misrepresentation.
By ditching the jargon and speaking plainly we ensure our audience is engaged and clear on our message.
Take the guesswork out of your communication and put an end to the jargon.
People are busier than ever before and there are constant distractions all around us.
To make sure your audience is truly paying attention, we need to make sure they can understand.
The key to this is to bring your pace way, way down.
We Scots tend to be fast talkers at the best of times.
Put us in a high-pressure environment or throw in the media and we take off at 100MPH.
That all but guarantees our audience is getting lost in our words.
Take a breath and take it slow.
This will ensure your message is clear and simple.
Ever had a notification of a new email on your phone only to see the dreaded … of additional text?
The average reader loses interest in the first 26 words of your communication.
Look at newspaper articles as inspiration for how to bring your main point to the front.
A journalist will always start off with the most important piece of information for the audience.
Ensure your emails are opened, rather than swiped off screen, by doing the same.
Ask yourself what your audience really needs to know and make that your opener.
And, of course, if you’d like our help with effective communication skills, email us today.
Maxine Montgomery is Media & Communications Trainer at Pink Elephant.
Read more about her here.
Effective communication skills blog written by Maxine Montgomery.
Effective communication skills blog edited by Colin Stone.
All photos in Effective communication skills blog by Pink Elephant Communications.
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