I can’t stress enough the importance of being able to competently get your point across – especially in business situations. It’s a skill to sort through our thoughts, select the most important, package them together, and present them coherently – on the spot with very little prep time. Without the ability to do this one will certainly miss out on big opportunities.
There are several mistakes people often make when it comes to getting their point across:
- Some say too little, thus missing out on the perfect opportunity to win over a future business acquaintance
- Some say too much, boring those around them by talking a lot but saying very little
- Some are unaware of how their message is being received, thus sending the wrong message not by what they say but by how they say it
The only way to get better at delivering your message is to practice. Here are some tips:
- If you’re in a situation where you’ll likely be in conversations around a specific topic rehearse what you might say. For example, if you’re at a conference where people are likely to ask what your company does pick out the top three points that define your company ahead of time, play around with the wording until it’s just right, and practice your delivery. It’s like the adult version of an elevator speech.
- Ask for feedback from your peers. Don’t be afraid to pull a co-worker aside after a meeting and ask her how your delivery sounded, what she thought your main points were, and areas you can improve.
- Become aware of detractors (such as distracting body movements & filler words such as um’s and ah’s) and practice eliminating them when speaking to others in professional settings.
Being able to successfully get your point across isn’t just important if you’re going to be speaking to large groups. In fact, we are more often going to find ourselves trying to win someone over in smaller, daily business interactions. By spending a little extra time practicing we can ensure that we are getting our point across every time.