Honing our Communication Skills

May 20, 2021

At each Stahl Team Meeting, we continue to study the art of communicating effectively with not only our clients but with one another. Here is a recent presentation from our president, Troy Tucker.

Communication Science

Last time we were together we spoke about Reception Theory and how we choose the content and mode of delivery for our communication while the recipient must receive, decode, and provide feedback to ensure both parties understand each other.

Verbal Communication Basics

  • Preparation: Know your subject matter and control the message. Organizing your thoughts can help eliminate awkward pauses and relay information concisely. This is more difficult in impromptu discussions and all the more important. Take a minute to organize your thoughts before you speak.
  • Clear and Concise: The most effective way to communicate your thought is typically the simplest way. Avoid using complex, convoluted language. Less is more. Ask yourself, “What is the clearest, simplest way to make my point?”
  • Confidence: Build trust and respect with your audience by speaking with confidence. There are several factors that can impact your ability to speak confidently – command of your subject matter, word choice, tone of voice, body language, and eye contact with your audience.
  • Tone: A monotone voice can put your audience to sleep in short order. Change your tone to add inflection for emphasis to important points and vary your pitch to express emotion. This will work to keep your audience engaged in your message.
  • Active Listening: One of the best ways to connect with your audience is to show them you’re engaged by being a good listener. Five parts to active listening:
    1. Receiving
    2. Understanding
    3. Remembering
    4. Evaluating
    5. Responding

    Don’t forget to summarize what you’ve heard and ask further questions if needed.

  • Non-verbal Communication: Body language significantly impacts the way others interpret what you say and your attitude about the conversation. Pay attention to your gestures, facial expressions, and other body language to ensure they align with the message you are trying to convey. It’s equally important that you stay aware of your audience’s body language. Maintain eye contact and look for cues of hesitation or engagement.
  • Perspective: Having a strong command of your topic if your audience does not can be received as condescending. Consider the technical knowledge of your audience and ensure you establish context for the discussion that will lead to understanding through simple, straightforward communication.

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