Excellence in communication really is a journey, not “your final destination,” as the airlines are fond of saying. If you’re wondering, then, why bother?, the answer is excellence in communication builds your career, your business and yourself. If you look over time at master communicator, Steve Jobs of Apple, you can clearly see how his presentation skills have (vastly) improved over the years. In early talks he comes across as awkward and fidgety. Here are 17 speaking habits you can work on at home to achieve your own level of excellence.
1. Decide what your core message is for the specific audience. Be sure you can say that in one sentence as that is the foundation for everything else that comes out of your mouth. This is especially important for you ramblers!
2. As you’re taking your place to speak, breathe deeply, both on the inhale and the exhale.
3. Do NOT cross your legs.
4. Do not thank them for being there. If you want to thank them, wait until you’re almost over. Instead, simply say how happy you are to be there.
5. Once you nail down your core message, stick to a clear pattern of organization. This truly helps the audience retain information and remember it’s an ADD world today. At the minimum, the “say what you’re going to say, say it and say what you said” works.
6. Leverage transitions. Make sure they connect what you just said with what you’re about to say. That helps people to both pay attention and to remember what your main points are.