What is communication? Have you ever given a deeper thought to it rather it being an act of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another via the use of jointly understood signs and language? Effective communication is a skill that is learned and perfected over time. Silver-tongued orators are not born, they learn the art of speaking and become a master by the time even if it wasn’t written onto their DNA. I have always felt some challenges when it comes to public speaking as I used to get bit nervous, little unsure of the delivery of the content, maintaining an appropriate eye contact with all of my audiences, attending to the attention that I’m going to get for the said duration, anxious of whether or not people will be conveyed by my delivery etc. But speaking in public is one thing that I absolutely love about, and started looking for solutions which can reduce my anxiety of public speaking.
The first and foremost thing I could think of while distressing myself from the anxiety of Public Speaking, was to learn how to master it. To begin with I started taking some online courses on communication, reading books and making every opportunity a stepping stone when it comes to speak in public. When I started to outlook about it and realized that every second person has public speaking fear and believe that what others will think of them when they recite something. Experiencing many such instances, I gathered that at the very first place it’s important to smoke out the original idea of feeling the anxiousness and nurture the cardinal skills rather.
While I was pursuing my public speaking course, two highest importance carrying attributes came into picture. They are:
You might be surprised that I did not mention the English grammar, sentence framing, dress code etc. to be the major part of communication. They are also important aspect of an effective communication but not as above 2 mentioned ones. Actually if you look closely, both of the above points are interlinked, you must be confident to deliver a good talk and you will feel yourself confident when you have practiced your talk as if you’re a pro.
Usually you’ll see people practicing for the content only a couple of times before their actual delivery of the talk or presentation out of their lazy attitude. That somewhat is assumed to be okay for a normal delivery of presentation but here I am talking about a life changing presentation and to do that one must practice it for more than 200 times. Yes, it’s crazy but one must.
You might be thinking that normally you don’t get an opportunity to present yourself somewhere and hence why to put so much of efforts while presenting it. Let me remind you, a person regularly sells himself that too on a daily basis and several a times a day. Surprised?? Suppose you’re in talks with your manager on the table of appraisal and he wants to hear all the regular corporate stuff that is supposed to be said by you, and you want him to be sold on each and every idea of yours. So literally you’re selling yourself to him and if he buys you, you get a good hike and vice versa. Here is the actual take for it: Selling is another form of presentation and to improvise it you need to work on your presentation skills. You might sometimes have observed yourself lacking in some skills when it comes to:
- Selling a product
- Pitching investor for business idea
- Convincing your superior at work
- Taking interview for a job
- Running a business
- Talking to clients etc.
- Talking to the promoters
In a general sense if I talk about, we fail every day in small small incidents that we can achieve success in by improving our presentation skills. I want to also highlight on some of the basic common body language signs which if you keep in mind while your regular life communication as well shall play a significant role in making it an effective one:
Fidgeting: Using your hands without purpose and very often. While in a conversation, you should use your hands with purpose which conveys strong message that you want to deliver.
Tapping: You would have encountered usually people play with their pen in meeting or use phone or tap on the table for no reason. It actually does not serve any purpose and should be avoided at any cost.
Jingling: Jingling the coin or any other metal. It makes the audience crazy.
All these little activities or movements show that you are nervous and haven’t prepared for the presentation well. While my communication course was going on, I realized these points and thought to use them effectively in my daily life. On a daily basis, most of my communication is directly with the customers (I am a sales guy). I answer more or less particularly similar set of questions (can be asked in different forms though) with very nearly same presentation, same training and about the same product. According to my analysis, my 60-70% communication with customers is on a similar line of matter, which I can practice a lot and be confident on. This is certainly going to help me in being more confident and I might be able to close more sales or build better relationship with all of my customers.
Now, whenever I have to deliver a subject/presentation I try to take my time to internalize the subject matter and work on the ins and outs of it until I own them completely. In order to make my content delivery feel so natural that I hardly have to think about it further.
In case my idea of enhancing communication by opting for a communication course interests you, I would recommend few of these courses to be taken:
- The Complete Presentation and Public Speaking/Speech Course
- Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of Evangelism
- Learn to Sell Anything by Grant Cardone