In this world of information overload, it is very difficult to be heard and to be taken seriously. Everyone is always busy with something or the other and people usually have about 5 minutes of their time to spare for each person they interact with. With the 5 minutes that you get, it is important to leave an impression that is lasting. Are you that effective a communicator? If not, maybe these tips will help you become better!

1. Listen and repeat

It may sound ironic that all you want to do is put forth your idea but listening is a far more effective communication than just meeting a person and blubbering out your words and ideas. When you listen to someone (and with interest, people know if you are fake listening), you give them a feeling of importance that makes them feel good. Besides the more we listen, the more we get to know about the other person’s thoughts and opinions. And this makes us phrase our conversation accordingly and effectively. Also, repeat a few thoughts of the other person. By reiterating the other person’s words, he gets the idea that you are actually listening to him and interested in what he wants to say. This builds up a level of trust with you that doesn’t happen if you just walk up to him and shoot out your ideas.

2. Follow up in a timely manner

So, you’ve had your ice-breaking conversation with someone and you end it by saying that you will get back to them accordingly. Make sure to follow it up once your meeting is done. Imagine if someone walks up to you and says, ‘remember I spoke to you six months ago about this thing? Are you still interested?’ Here a few things that will happen:

  1. The possibility of you remembering that person is highly low. Hey, I don’t remember who spoke to me the day before! How can I remember someone from six months prior?
  2. You may have been very interested in that idea earlier but because of the six months gap, your priorities might have changed.
  3. Your interest in the idea was so high that you waited for a while but found someone else who helped you with it.

Following up with someone shows that you are a man of your words and that you really are interested in maintaining a relationship with the other person. It is also essential that you reinforce your conversation with him to increase the likelihood of him remembering you.

3. Make it personal by being yourself

People are bored of the same corporate lingo that flows through their ears or their emails. Having a template is good but it is important that you add your personal touch to it so it doesn’t seem monotonous. By having a personal side to the conversation, you make yourself more relatable and it shows your interest in the matter. By showing your passion and conviction towards something, you impress the other person with your sincerity. Besides it’s hard to find someone sincere in this rat race of people trying to win over others by being aggressive. You stand out by being yourself and by saying the right things according to your target audience.

4. Keep it simple

It is easy to get carried away with complex designs and lingo that will explain yourself in the best way possible. But remember, not everyone needs to be as interested or as knowledgeable in your field as you are. Simple communication leads to effective transmission of information. A quote I read somewhere says, ‘If you can’t explain it to an 8-year old and make them understand, then you don’t understand it well enough yourself.’ Simplicity is key. If you are stuck with a complex problem, break it down and solve one point at a time. This way, you make things easier for yourself and your communication is far more effective.

5. Walk in their shoes

It is very easy to get carried away with your opinion and push it down on other people’s throats. Doing that doesn’t make you a leader or an effective communicator, it makes you a dictator. Take a moment to look at the other person’s point of view. You may not like it but it may prove to be a solution for a problem that you are facing. Looking at opposing points of view gives you better clarity and a wholesome view. Empathising with the other person makes you a better person and a more effective communicator. Appreciate them when they have done something good and be supportive if they are going through a tough time. By showing that you are there for them, you become more trustworthy. And by being more trustworthy, you can get people to listen to you more.

Remember it is important to communicate but it is more important to communicate effectively!

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