Have you ever had a conversation with someone and walked off without a clue as to what was actually discussed? Interactions such as these are frustrating for everyone involved. Inevitably you know you’ll be having the same conversation again when things should have been resolved during the first meeting of minds. Clarity, connection and credibility – these 3 C’s are the key to conversations that make an impact and leave a lasting impression.
Connection is what will make your conversation or presentation stick. We have all heard of rapport. This is defined as connecting with harmony. If you do not build rapport or connect with your audience, your conversation will end the instant you stop talking. They will not see a two way street of communication. They will only think they are being told something by someone they don’t know, understand or care for. You must find ways to engage with your audience and make sure they have connected with you. Tell a joke, begin with a story that will give them insight into who you are or ask a question. You want to find common ground so you can grab their attention and make sure they are present. From there maintain eye contact and make sure you aren’t losing their attention. Connection is about keeping the audience in the moment with you. That means you must make what you are saying important to them.
Possibly the most vital part of any conversation or presentation is clarity. It doesn’t matter how informed you are on a subject or how much information you share if it isn’t clear what you are saying. More often than not, the problem with poor presenters is that what they are trying to convey isn’t clear to them. And, if it’s not clear to you, you can never make it clear to them. This usually happens because people spend too little time deciding in advance what an audience needs to hear, or because they think they need to share everything they know to look credible. Prior to the exchange gather your thoughts and make sure they are clear and concise. Run what you’re planning on saying by someone else to see if there are any points that could be confusing or ambiguous. If your intentions aren’t clear during your conversation it may as well have never happened.
Credibility is the final step to any successful communication. Whether it’s an interview, a presentation or a challenging conversation with a member of your team, you need them to trust you and find you credible. This takes more time and a great deal of intention. Transparency, consistency and an ability to own up to your short comings all support a credible and trustworthy presence. Once they trust you, their minds are open to what you have to say.
Clarity, Connection and Credibility – it should happen every time you talk to someone, deliver a presentation or exchange any information. If you need help with how to master these skills, sign up for my newsletter or find out more about the workshops I offer!