Carol Vernon, founder and principal, Communications Matter, conducted a great seminar on the title of this blog, communicating with confidence.
Her opening statement - "communications matter!"
If you read any articles on the subject of communications you've probably come across these statistics and they are worth mentioning again.
- Words - what we say - 7%
- Vocal - tone, rate, volume, pause - 38%
- Nonverbal - body language - 55%
While she talked about a number of communication principles - I want to focus on five she stressed:
- Speak up at the right time - be strategic, don't be the first.
- Stay on message - organize your thoughts first (what do they know, what do they want to know and then what do they need to know, and what do I want them to know). Don’t do a data dump when communicating (think in three’s).
- Adapt your communication style to fit the audience - a one size fits all approach will not serve you well.
- Fine-tune your nonverbal language - what are you doing with your hands? Are you using your eyes to make eye contact with your audience (whether it be one or many)?
- Practice active listening skills - this is a key skill that all of us could work on. Are you listening, understanding what is being said, and then responding in an appropriate way?
She went on to talk about the four different communication styles:
- What - action oriented, direct and to the point, results oriented, purposeful - it’s all about the bottom line;
- How - process-focused, detailed step by step, factual and data driven;
- Who - people focused, relationship driven, communicative and more personal; and
- Why - ideas-oriented, brainstorm, inquisitive, question conventional wisdom.
You need to be adaptive with all four of these styles. There is no right or wrong way. But having a strong presence is key. Do you move purposefully? You need to be fully present and use your face, eyes, and body to command the room.
At the end of the day, communication skills are developed over time and we all can continue to learn and adapt as we go!
For more information about Carol go HERE.