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Ten Steps to Powerful Communication

Ten Steps to Powerful Communication

Today’s fast-paced business environment requires leaders who can create impact and influence others with sound communication practices. Stacey Hanke has trained over 15,000 executives to influence, persuade, sell, or simply effectively communicate face-to-face with a clear message. Below, Stacey shares some of her top tips for powerful communication:

As you interact with others, you need to communicate effectively—often in high-stakes situations. Even effective communicators have room for improvement. Here are 10 steps you can take to continuously polish your communication:

1. Involve your listeners, engage, and connect. Ask open-ended questions. Wait to speak until you make eye contact with members. Know when to stop talking and start listening.

2. Make immediate connections with members through your opening message. Ask them for immediate interaction and tell them what’s in it for them.

3. Think about the acronym KNOW before every conversation. What do people know about your topic? What do they need to know about your topic? What’s their opinion about your topic? Who are they?

4. Think before you speak. Every word counts, and every pause counts. Speak in short, clear, concise sentences. When you take time to pause, you can clearly hear others’ expectations. Use their words. Pause to get to the point and honor their time.

5. Speak less; listen more. Often we get caught up in our own messages and communicate only what we want to accomplish.

6. Speak to be heard—with confidence, credibility, and trust. People perceive confidence through posture and voice, credibility through words and pauses, and trust through eye contact.

7. Be genuine and authentic. It’s easier for them to relate to your messages if they can relate to you.

8. Ask for a call to action with your closing message. Be specific and concise.

9. Videotape yourself and review the recording. Is what you say consistent with how you say it? Believe it or not, nine times out of 10 how you feel will be inconsistent with how others perceive you.

10. Ask for balanced feedback. Seek feedback from your peers, associates, clients, friends, and family. Comments like “nice job” or “sounded good” don’t help. Specifically ask what you did well, and what you said that they perceived as positive or helpful. Ask for feedback that focuses on a specific behavior you want to improve.

Stacey Hanke/May, 2016