You sound stiff when you deliver stories or presentations. Why lose them by conveying information in a sloppy manner? Conveying successfully leads to clear understanding, which will allow you to convince them later on. Your world is full of communiclutter, which you need to conquer in order to convey successfully.
Sound familiar? Your inbox is cluttered, your cell phone is cluttered, your desk is cluttered—and as a result, your mind is cluttered. You need shortcuts to process and understand it all. In our new world, communiclutter is inescapable.
Yours will be the message that cuts to its essence and gets understood, despite the fact that you started with a staggering amount of information. Your message will say in one page what others say in ten. Your message will be smartly distilled and conveyed with impact, an exercise in mental refinement that allows your words to be clearly understood. We now ignore the vast majority of information that comes our way. The key to smart conveying is to understand that information is not knowledge.
Information has to be processed first before we understand it and then it becomes knowledge. Why Convey? After the opening session, you follow the masses to the closest breakout room—the topic looks on point. You spot an open seat, squeeze into a middle row, and are set to learn. The presenter gets started. What do you learn? Alternatively, how about this: Have you ever received a voice message so longwinded that the caller gets disconnected and has to call back to leave an addendum?
What happens as a result? Finally, has this happened to you? Repulsed, you quickly close it and move on. You intend to revisit it later, but you never do. Later, you learn there was an action item for you buried near the bottom. These are examples of how people squander opportunities by making conveying blunders. The question is, are you guilty of overloading others, too? Are you confusing people with messages that are too long, complex, and difficult—if not impossible—to follow? However, are you grasping the downside?
Portion control is a smarter way to convey because it forces you to manage your messages so that others can process your information accurately. It leads to clarity. Data dumping is undisciplined communicating; a form of overcommunicating that leads to confusion, misunderstandings, and wasted time. You bog people down and they resist— and resent it. Like a dieter counting calories, you need to relearn what a proper serving size really is. What if you have a really complicated message?
How do you know what to leave in and what to leave out? Read on to learn simple strategies to convey successfully. Imagine my excitement, approaching Churchill Downs in search of humaninterest stories for the week leading up to the Derby. One day, my assignment was to feature the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales. There I was, tiny Connie, surrounded by hulking horses. Neophyte reporter that I was, out of embarrassment and shock, I carried on with my report as if nothing was happening. To be fair to the horse, my dry, lacquered locks must have looked like lunch to a creature that consumes fifty pounds of hay each day.
My ridiculous televised hair scare taught me a valuable lesson beyond the need to lay off the lacquer: The eyes trump the ears. Brad, a financial fund advisor, learned the power of this strategy in the workplace when he failed to use it. He inadvertently created chaos instead of clarity. The windfall was left in a named fund that Brad would manage, split into two separate funds.
The school could access 6 percent of each fund per year and was permitted to spend the funds, divided equally, in two areas that the deceased had designated: scholarships and grounds upkeep.
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The Eyes Trump the Ears 73 he tried to talk them through the complicated process. Others were puzzled by the 6 percent explanation, trying to do the math and wrap their heads around that number, or was it two numbers? Still others were baffled by the multiple fund designations. The more Brad talked, the more muddled the group became. What was missing? What could Brad have done differently to prevent the confusion? In hindsight, the answer was crystal-clear.
Your brain processes visuals up to ten times faster than mere words, according to research in both educational theory and cognitive psychology. Memory soars when you see visuals instead of mere text. Visual learning is a shortcut that creates clarity because it helps people organize and analyze information, as well as integrate new knowledge quickly. Following are three tactics with plenty of tips to help you apply them. One of the most successful tactics of weight-loss products and programs is to show before and after pictures.
It creates an instant impression without forcing you to trudge through confusing statistics. In other words, it cuts out the boring parts to create a visually induced belief.
Famed defense attorney Johnnie Cochran successfully used this technique to argue to a jury that his client, O. Simpson, was framed for the murder of his ex-wife. As he launched into his closing argument, Cochran pulled on a pair of gloves similar to those the prosecution used to link Simpson to the murder scene. He reminded the. Remember the phrase that goes with the photo? As a well-trained attorney, Cochran knew that people respond most positively to what they see, not what they hear.
PowerPoint is a blessing and a curse. This leads to excruciatingly boring presentations.
Who has the patience for tedium? The Eyes Trump the Ears 77 This approach is wordy, dull, and unfocused. See what I mean? Reading wordy text from slides to your audience undermines the purpose of your communication.
It also undermines your credibility by making you appear to lack the confidence or knowledge to share information without a pseudo-Teleprompter. Too many jazzy graphics. This approach creates empty garbage that lacks detail, intellectual analysis, or even any real substance at all. However, that abomination is controllable. Remember that clarity is achieved through simplicity and portion control. Also, quiet your mannerisms and other distractions.
When your body language contradicts your words, guess which signal wins? The Eyes Trump the Ears 79 Right, in the eyes of an audience, your body language negates your words. Fight presentation bloat. Too much of anything dilutes its power and muddies your message. Cut the noise. Noise is anything on a slide that distracts from the clarity of your message. Minimize the noise by eliminating the excess. Think simple and clean. Use visual shortcuts.
Most speakers load their slides with text and charts. Do the opposite. Paint a picture of clarity by using more photos, video clips, and other punchy visuals.