If I’m not careful, I can be a talker. As a natural at the art of capturing a story, it’s a gift. But it can also be a weakness. Here are three tools I’ve found useful to help me stay trim in my communications and remain effective in the long run. This includes marketing and sales.
1. Remember that people communicate (and retain) information best in three main ways: audio, visual and kinetic. A balance of the three seems to work best. Honestly, sometimes we need to shut up and let a picture say a 1000 words or let someone get a literal handle on something. But beyond that, the truth is that some people retain and communicate best by hearing their own thoughts expressed in audio. Which means, get them into the discussion and you’ll get the best out of them.
My son is an example of someone who performs best through discussion, not just listening. He has an unusual visual impairment with a kind of blend of parallax and monocular vision (and medical terms I find difficult to describe). Due to this, his thoughts literally form best through discussion and the hearing of his own voice. Once he’s been a part of the discussion, he’s your man and knows exactly what to do. Without it, he has a harder time putting his thought process in order or “getting it” because he has no mental black-board to “see” things in his mind. When he can verbalize thoughts as they take form, the quality of his work is amazingly better, because his brain is wired that way. It’s been an interesting path of discovery for us at home and I’ve learned to tailor my communication for others as a result.
2. There is a book that I love called: How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less, by Milo Frank. I listen to the audio version on a periodic basis to remind me how to trim my words and get to the point.
3. Once words are spoken, you can’t take them back. So if it’s the wrong words, or just too many, the problem is the same. I like to keep in mind an old adage that goes something like this: “Better they wonder why you didn’t open your mouth, than why you did!”
These are some thoughts that have helped me in both my professional and personal communications, as well as marketing. I hope they help you too.