We may receive commissions for affiliate links included in this article. This is a sponsored post. Future Sharks makes no warranties about the statements, facts and/or claims made on this article. These are the opinions of the author. Read our advertising and contributor disclosure here.
Effective leadership communication is a crucial skill in professional settings, as it directly influences how others perceive and respond to us.
Speaking like a professional involves more than just using technical jargon or industry-specific language. It encompasses overcoming fear, asserting oneself, understanding the importance of body language, and mastering the art of having a charming presence and personal magnetism. In this article, we will delve into the research-backed strategies and techniques that can help individuals develop professional communication skills that captivate and engage their audience.
We take insights from Laurie Schloff, a globally recognized speech and communication coach who has throughout her career helped successful CEOs and other notable executives build their communication prowess.
With over three decades of experience, Schloff is a highly regarded trainer and coach specializing in presentation skills, executive coaching, leadership training, conference coaching, and facilitation.
Schloff co-founded electionspeakers.com and developed the Presentation Coaching Certificate Program to train future presentation coaches.
Her extensive client list includes prominent organizations such as Bain Capital, Fidelity Investments, Michelin, Allstate and TJX Companies. Schloff is an advisor to the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.
Schloff has also authored several books, including “He & She Talk: How to Communicate with the Opposite Sex,” “Smart Speaking: Sixty Second Strategies,” and “Speech Gems.” Additionally, she developed the online microlearning program called “Conquer Your Fear of Speaking” for the Myquest.co platform. Notably, Schloff’s first children’s book, “Twenty Twinkling Stars,” serves as both a fundraiser and educational resource for National Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), and is currently utilized by Sandy Hook Promise, the nation’s largest anti-violence organization.
I. Communication Excellence
In an article, Schloff shared thoughts on getting complex information across in the most effective manner. Schloff’s article greatly focuses on the importance of communication excellence, especially for healthcare and technology leaders, who often need to simplify complex and technical information to engage others and achieve the best results. The key takeaways are as follows:
- Communication Empathy: Experts should understand that their audience might not be as interested in the technical specifics as they are. Therefore, it is crucial to approach communication with a listener-centered mindset, considering what matters most to the audience and what can be omitted to streamline the message.
- Check-in with Listeners: Before any important meeting or presentation, it is essential to communicate in advance and ask the audience what they would like to cover. Understanding the audience’s level of knowledge about the topic is also crucial to avoid speaking over their heads or providing irrelevant information.
- Master Verbal Organization: Effective speakers convey their message concisely and with focus. Creating impactful verbal headlines and using the HEC Model (Headline-Example-Comment) can help present ideas clearly and engagingly.
- Make Ideas Easy to Understand: When introducing new ideas or terminology, it is important to explain and simplify concepts for those outside the field. Clearly stating terms, providing brief definitions, and offering examples can help enhance understanding.
The key to successful communication lies in preparation, understanding the audience’s needs, and presenting information in a clear, concise, and relatable manner. By developing communication empathy and mastering verbal organization, healthcare and technology leaders can better influence and engage others, leading to increased career and organizational success.
II. Importance of Body Language:
- Nonverbal Cues and Emotional Expression: Numerous studies emphasize the significance of nonverbal cues in communication. Body language, facial expressions, and gestures can influence how messages are received and interpreted. Research shows that individuals who use open and relaxed postures, maintain eye contact, and exhibit appropriate facial expressions are perceived as more confident and trustworthy.
- Vocal Tone and Modulation: The way we speak also plays a critical role in professional communication. Research indicates that vocal tone, pitch, and modulation influence the perception of authority and credibility. Speaking with a clear and well-modulated voice, emphasizing key points, and varying vocal tone can add depth and impact to the delivery.
III. Mastering the Art of Charismatic Presence:
- Authenticity and Genuine Connection: Studies have shown that authenticity is key to building rapport and establishing trust. Authenticity involves being true to oneself, expressing genuine emotions, and connecting with others on a personal level. Engaging with sincerity, showing empathy, and actively relating to the audience’s needs and interests create a sense of connection and increase the likelihood of being heard and respected.
- Developing Personal Magnetism: Personal magnetism is an intangible quality that draws people’s attention and captivates their interest. Research suggests that certain traits contribute to personal magnetism, such as confidence, charisma, positive energy, and enthusiasm. Engaging in activities that cultivate self-confidence, practicing positive thinking, and adopting an optimistic outlook can enhance personal magnetism and create a lasting impression.
Speaking like a professional requires a combination of skills, including confidence, assertiveness, understanding body language, and developing a charismatic presence. Overcoming fear and building confidence through preparation and visualization techniques are essential steps. Being assertive involves clear and concise communication, active listening, and effective questioning. Understanding the significance of nonverbal cues and utilizing appropriate body language enhances communication impact. Finally, cultivating authenticity and personal magnetism establishes genuine connections and leaves a memorable impression. By incorporating these research-backed strategies and techniques, individuals can develop their professional communication skills and become effective communicators who captivate and influence their audience.