It’s Not What You Say

An often quoted communication study done by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, revealed that 93% of our communication impact comes from the WAY we deliver our words. If this is the case, AND every single day we have the opportunity to present ourselves and our ideas to others, than we cannot underestimate the importance of strong presentation skills. Here are a few things to consider…. Your Eyes. Be sure to connect with your audience. When answering a question, address the person directly, make eye contact while making a specific point. When used naturally it communicates to the audience that you are engaged, that you care and it can create a level of intimacy even with a larger audience. Your Hands. Use your hands for emphasis not distraction. Most of us can recall a speaker with the nervous habit of jingling coins in their pocket, twirling a pen, or playing with a laser pointer. Instead stand tall, use your hands with purpose to illustrate comparisons or make key points, and when not gesturing keep your hands at your side in a relaxed position. Your Voice. We have all experienced speakers that were monotone and droned on, losing their audience. Try increasing your vocal range. By telling a story, using a joke, smiling, or asking questions throughout your presentation you will naturally change the speed, dimension and range of your voice. Your Feet. Moving with purpose during your presentation demonstrates confidence. When answering questions move toward the person you are addressing and speak directly to them. Deliberately moving from one side of the room to the other allows you to engage more of the audience and keeps their attention. Use your feet to ‘own the room’. Last but not least – practice, practice, practice. When you practice, be sure to practice how you will use the physical space, the inflections you will use to emphasis points, practice the stories you will use, and look for opportunities to engage your audience. YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK: Pay attention to the 93%. When listening to others speak, notice the WAY the information is presented. When you are doing the speaking, take note of your eyes, hand, voice and feet!

Simple, But Powerful

I will share a tip with you that can make all the difference in your business. I am sure that you have heard this tip before. I am sure that you will think this tip is so obvious that you might even tune out and discard the learning as a ‘dah’. Quite simply this is the most frequently overlooked concept in business today. Would you like to guess? It can be described as a fundamental principle that applies to every business, it doesn’t matter the size, the industry, the location or how long you have been in business. This principle should be a non-negotiable that every business owner has imprinted on the culture of their organization. Well, here it is: Do What You Say You Will Do! So why does such a simple concept cause most businesses to fall short more times than they over-deliver? As simple as it may be, it would seem that if someone is willing to make a commitment to do something, at the time the commitment is made, they truly intend to fulfill that commitment – although it doesn’t make sense, often times, that is far from the truth. A few examples that you might be able to relate to: “I’ll send you that information when I get back to the office.” But instead you get back to the office, other things consume your day, the day ends and the information was never sent. Why? Perhaps you were using the line casually and didn’t consider other priorities that would take precedence. “I’ll followup with you on that.” But days, even weeks go by and no call or email. Why? Perhaps you were using the line to end a conversation and had no real intention of taking action. “We’ll get it done right away.” But instead you continue to stay focused on other activities and don’t start work on the new project for several days. Why? Perhaps you have a commitment to another customer that is coming due and do not intend to disappoint them at the expense of this customer. “I’ll order that tonight so we will have it first thing in the morning.” But you know the supplier has already gone for the day, yet you want to leave the impression that the customer standing in front of you is important. I’ll bet you can think of an example that happened to you recently as a customer – or perhaps even one that you are guilty of! YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK: Pay close attention to the commitments you make and be sure that you are prepared to Do What You Say You Will Do. Even consider doing MORE than what you say you will do and delight your customers.