Successful communication ensures not only the correct choice of words, but also knowledge of the audience, the ability to listen and empathize, control over body language and the presence of a well-developed intuition. However, it is the choice of words that is critically important. Here are 10 public speaking techniques that can come in handy in the office.
1. To convince your audience of something, start with reasons
Imagine communicating to your team about an important change in work. One way to do this is to simply state it and then explain the reasons. However, a split second after the news is announced, listeners begin to intuitively evaluate it. If they don’t like it, subsequent explanations may seem like mere excuses.
Changing the order of the semantic parts of the statement, namely naming the reasons for the decision before himself, allows you to make the second block of the speech a logical conclusion, not an excuse.
2. Show vulnerability and then your vision to build trust
Have you ever met people with all the answers? Perhaps, yes, when you just graduated from university and got your first job. This impression usually goes away quickly – especially if they are involved in team management. So what do you do when employees want answers to complex and ambiguous questions?
Vulnerability and seeing the problem is a magic combination. Demonstrating vulnerability – admitting that you don’t have all the answers or that you’re afraid sometimes, too – can help build sympathy, and it can win the hearts of listeners. Seeing the problem will show them the direction to go – and that will win their minds.
3. To ask for anything, use the NVC format
Giving feedback and asking for something in difficult situations is not easy for everyone. One of the reasons these actions are frightening is that it’s impossible to predict the other person’s reaction. Marshall Rosenberg’s book Nonviolent Communication (NVC) has a template to help structure a review: observations + feelings + needs + requests.
4. Follow the 40-word rule
When we need to communicate something unpleasant to the interlocutor, many of us tend to say too much to emphasize our regret and explain the reasons for the decision in more detail.
However, after receiving such information, people often need time to gather their thoughts, and they may miss the rest of the speech. Most often, the message can be expressed using 40 words or less – this can be done in advance.
5. To engage, tell a story
Stories are powerful because they can engage emotions in ways that dry facts don’t always manage. Storytelling has become a part of the great speaker’s toolbox. Since our university days, we have been taught to speak in a fascinating way to get the best option on the online jobs for students. Note, that a good story shouldn’t be two hours long – first of all, a little background and conflict with which the listeners can relate themselves are important in it.
6. To get the opportunity, ask for permission
There is a simple yet powerful way to get what you want – you just need to ask permission.
- Would you please let me help?
- Will you allow me, given my venerable age, a vaguely critical observation?
Such questions show respect for the interlocutor and give him or her a sense of control over the situation. If they come from the leader, they will disarm the listeners – they will be more than happy to give permission.
7. To teach, ask questions
Every leader often wants to take and independently solve the problems of subordinates. However, fulfilling the duties of employees will not allow them to grow.
Questions can be asked to help team members without taking on their tasks. A good question is characterized by openness, simplicity, genuine interest, and often begins with “what” or “how.”
8. To come up with new ideas, say “Yes, and …”
The ability to brainstorm is a useful skill for any leader. However, few things kill creativity faster than saying “No, but …”
“Yes, and …” – is a technique that comes from improvisational comedy. By taking an idea and adding more information, you encourage others to use it, not destroy it. Some people have completely eliminated the “but” conjunction from their vocabulary and claim it has changed their thinking for the better.
9. Empathize to convince
When trying to sell a product or idea, you’ll often hear reasons for the potential failure of the idea from interlocutors. How do you respond to such objections?
You definitely shouldn’t convince skeptics that they are wrong. However, empathy can increase the chances that they will listen.
10. Be the last to speak to be heard
As a rule, in meetings, a leader should listen to others first and only then bring up his or her ideas. Knowing others’ opinions and suggestions provides an informational advantage as well as an opportunity to thank the team. And, most importantly, people are more likely to listen to their boss’s opinions if they notice if they notice that they are considerate of their comments.