The world is fast and information is more readily available to us now than ever before. Based on everything that I have read, that trend will not change and in fact is forecasted to grow exponentially. One thing that has not changed is the importance of communication and “wanting to be heard”. The challenge is how to ensure our message is being received and digested the way we intended it to be. Simplify your message with these three keys to get your message across.
State Your Intent Immediately
Being clear with what your intention is for speaking sounds basic, but helps your audience hear what you are trying to say. Rather than guessing at what your point is, your audience will be clear on the purpose. It helps the receiving party with understanding and permission to state, “I don’t know what you are talking about” without being rude. It also helps you as the speaker to ask, “does that make sense?” or “are you with me”? Puzzles are fun but not when you are wanting to communicate clearly.
Say it AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN
I have a 14 year old son and he has hormones, a cell phone, and better things to listen to than his Dad. He really is a great kid but there are a few elements working against him. The average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds today. If I am speaking to him for 1 minute straight, conceivably he lost focus at least 5 times. There is a reason marketing experts repeat themselves a minimum of 3 times and in a perfect scenario, 7 times. To make sure we hear their pitch. Marketers are experts at making their product memorable. Use this strategy to make your point memorable.
Less is More
We have established that the world is fast, and our attention span is decreasing. Communication experts use the power of silence to allow their audience more time to digest the information they just provided. Simply slowing down and using fewer words will increase the likelihood that your message was received and being processed. Saying fewer words also allows for open dialogue and questions, instead of just one person “droning on”.
It has been said that two things can destroy any relationship. Unrealistic expectations and poor communication. If we can fix the communication piece, then we can address the expectations simultaneously. George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”. State your intent, repeat yourself and practice concise communication. If you do that your communication won’t be an illusion, but rather a reality.