Don’t Just Talk!

Talk is cheap” and it doesn’t require planning or preparation or understanding. No wonder there is so much of it.
Listening is effective for changing someone’s thinking, and is often necessary…but not sufficient.
When it’s your turn to lead the conversation, what can you do that gives you a better value for your limited time?
Jump, sing, balance a spoon on your nose, give treasure, but don’t just talk. Try something that that will be remembered after the conversation moves on.
What is your favorite communication booster?

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Jeff Ribeira

Awesome question. To me, this is one of those topics that everyone knows (who hasn’t had a professor or boss who always seems to put the room to sleep?), but very few people can effectively do. I agree that a speaker/presenter needs to not only say something memorable, but, more importantly, do something memorable while they’re saying it. I think too often people assume what they say and the content will be the memorable aspect of their talk/presentation…hardly ever the case. You could be talking about the most interesting topic in the world, but unless you actively engage your audience with enthusiasm, they will leave as if you hadn’t spoken at all. Even something as simple as having fun (or at least look like you are) can make a world of a difference.

Dick Davies

Thanks Jeff,

Great points!

I guess I should develop an inventory of tested techniques to raise the emotional level associated with the communication.

Stephen Peteritas

It sounds easy but inflection. Very few people know how to hit the right words in a sentence and how to hit them exactly to drive a point home.

Dick Davies

Oh, excellent point, Stephen! The rhythms that make the words sing. I hadn’t thought of that, but I will now! Thank you!

Caryn Wesner-Early

Don’t forget to make eye contact! If you just stand up there looking at your notes, your slides, or your shoes, you will lose them. Make it show that you care whether they’re interested or not, and if they don’t appear to be interested, change on the fly as much as possible. Skip the elementary stuff, if their eyes are already glazing over from the beginning; if you had them but start to lose them further in, backtrack a little and make sure they’re getting it.

It’s often hard to change a presentation, even if it’s not carved in stone PowerPoint – time constraints, knowledge of your audience, and the necessity of getting across what you’re talking about make it difficult to adapt as you go along. But to the extent that you can, do, if it seems like it might help.

Caryn Wesner-Early