I’ve taken some time recently to think about what makes some folks more effective speakers than others and I am convinced that there are specific strategies that any communicator can use to improve the chances of their message being heard.
This list may not apply to every listener, but here’s what really keeps me engaged during an entire message:
- Be real. Let people see the actual human inside you. Most of the time, this involves sharing your personal stories.
- Talk like normal people talk. Use my language. Don’t assume I know what you know. Provide the backstory, so I can be on the same page as you.
- Use humor. If you don’t make me laugh, I’m probably going to tune you out. By the way, the best humor comes from your everyday life.
- Be honest. If I think you’re credible, there’s a better chance I’ll think your message is credible.
- Avoid being too polished. I love it when you leave your prepared statements and share anything off the cuff.