Mar 26 2010

The Louder You Speak, The Better They Listen

Speak boldly.  Speak loudly.  Speak with authority.  Unfortunately, many people think this is the best way to deliver a message to your customers.  Ridiculous!  If you want to alienate your customers, then yes, by all means follow that formula.

Communication is supposed to be the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.  The key word in the definition is interchange.  Good communication flows back and forth between speaker and listener.   It’s a process of assigning and conveying meaning to create shared understanding.

Yesterday we talked about the importance of listening.  Let’s take a look at how you can make your message easy to communicate so the listener understands you.

  1. Understand you can’t make people listen, they must choose to listen.
  2. Know your audience.
  3. Your message must resonate with a person’s interests.
  4. Let the audience know understanding is not agreement. They don’t have to agree.
  5. Your attitude is the first thing people see.
  6. Be yourself. Be authentic and at ease.
  7. Open a conversation with things you have in common.
  8. Be attentive and courteous.
  9. Avoid confusion. Keep your ideas simple.
  10. Know the intent of your message.
  11. Confirm understanding with your audience. Ask questions.
  12. Provide a summary.
  13. Be patient with explanations.
  14. Avoid jargon. Speak their language.
  15. Focus. Avoid distractions.
  16. Keep information accurate, up-to-date, and interesting.
  17. Create a mutual understanding that pleases both parties, win/win.
  18. Set the stage. Tell your audience what to expect.
  19. Use analogies or examples to help understanding.
  20. Be prepared. Have all the necessary info at hand.
  21. Encourage input from your listeners.
  22. Focus on your audience. Pay attention to what you hear, see, and feel from them.
  23. Express your individuality appropriately within the context of your audience.
  24. Be open and confident.
  25. Be on time for scheduled communications.
  26. Have a positive attitude.
  27. Make sure your message has purpose.
  28. Know that you have control over the atmosphere you want to create.
  29. Appeal to your listener’s self-interest.
  30. Allow for and respond to questions.

Your customers look to you for guidance. They want to believe you can help them.  Be sure you reinforce that trust by communicating your message clearly.

Would you add anything to this list?  Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.


  • By Phil Richards, March 28, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

    Great check lists Tim, this list builds on yesterdays really well.

    In looking at both lists together I was thinking that I have to remember that I can be wrong, it is not a requirement to be right, and its ok if someone else thinks I am wrong, and even ok if I continue to think I am right !

    A friend of mine says ” Do you want to be right, or happy ?” as a question to ask ourselves in a situation where someone might disagree with our view..
    .-= Phil Richards´s last blog ..Earth Hour 2010 – Turn off your lights tonight and take part in a global event =-.

  • By Tim, March 28, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

    Almost got dizzy there. 🙂 The need to be right, always trying to prove something is laughable to me. Yep, I’d rather be happy.

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