On Communicating

6. Prepare your intent.

A little preparation goes a long way toward saying what you wanted to say and having a conversation achieve its intended impact. Don’t prepare a speech; develop an understanding of what the focus of a conversation needs to be (in order for people to hear the message) and how you will accomplish this. Your communication will be more persuasive and on point when you prepare your intent ahead of time.

2. Talk so people will listen.

Great communicators read their audience (groups and individuals) carefully to ensure they aren’t wasting their breath on a message that people aren’t ready to hear. Talking so people will listen means you adjust your message on the fly to stay with your audience (what they’re ready to hear and how they’re ready to hear it). Droning on to ensure you’ve said what you wanted to say does not have the same effect on people as engaging them in a meaningful dialogue in which there is an exchange of ideas. Resist the urge to drive your point home at all costs. When your talking leads to people asking good questions, you know you’re on the right track.

– Travis Bradberry, 8 Secrets of Great Communicators

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