"Communication skills make you profitable."
That's the first note I wrote down after reading Pitch Perfect: How to Say it Right the First Time, Every Time by Bill McGowan and Alisa Bowman. Having strong communication skills is probably one of the most common desired skills for many jobs. Employers value solid written and oral communication because they allow one to build a collaborative relationship with coworkers.
Think about the last project that didn't go as smoothly as you wanted it to go. I'm willing to take a chance and say, better communication between the team members would have helped the project run better. McGowan says that two-thirds of ideas are rejected not because they're bad but because they were communicated poorly. There is a key formula for great communication. For McGowan, it's
"Perfection in communication is being real, casual, warm, and enthusiastic.”
Exude authenticity, it will help you become a better communicator.
Advice on How to Become a Better Communicator, According to Bill McGowan's Pitch Perfect
- Preparation is key. When giving a speech, always prepare and don't be overconfident.
- Transcibe your presentation. When looking to create a new presentation, record your speech and then transcribe the audio.
- Start off the right way. Always start with your best material first, the "thought-provoking line that makes listeners think, I want to know more."
- Build anticipation. When giving a speech, don't just give your main point away, try to build anticipation around the delivery.
- Limit your information. Whether it's a speech or a written communication, less is more.
- Help your audience understand. Analogies and stories hold your audiences' attention and helps them better understand your topic.
- Don't summarize after a presentation. Instead of recapping everything at the end of a presentation, ask your audience to try "something new or adopt a new strategy of thinking, and then project the future benefits they'll reap if they heed your advice."
- Be open to advice and use it. You will become a much better communicator if you "listen to trusted advice, take it seriously, and recognize that sometimes other people know best."
Finally, whenever possible practice your communication skills in a public setting:
"Be spontaneous as long as the personal and professional stakes aren't high. Life's low-key situations are perfect opportunities to try out new conversational material for the first time."
If you want to talk about brand strategy, storytelling, content development, project management, and/or marketing communications, drop me a line.