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Make Anyone Addicted to Every Word You Say

Make Anyone Addicted to Every Word You Say

We know the power of communication – it wins elections, jobs, friends, creates billionaires – it decides destiny.

It’s the one skill which skyrockets our success in every situation.

In five words:

It can transform your life.

We look for “writing tips” or “speaking tips” or “how-tos” to become a master communicator.

Yet, we can practice for months, and still, know we’re not “great”, but have no idea what separates us from a genius.

COMMUNICATION. A MASTER LEVEL.

In this article, we explore, in under 5 minutes, strategies every speaking person should know.

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I’ve analyzed the most successful authors, speakers, and presenters, and found they all apply 3 simple strategies:

  1. Focus on what’s important
  2. Make information as accessible as possible
  3. Eliminate crap and move quickly

FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS.

Greatness is distilled to core essence – it gives a person what they need – nothing more.

We rarely understand why we do what we do, or the “x factor” which makes something work.

People have short attention spans.

If they must put in tremendous effort to process something most will leave.

This doesn’t mean what we communicate can’t be 4,000 words.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is 257,045 words and sold 11,000,000 copies in 24 hours.

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How do we create communication which captures everyone’s attention?

NOT WHAT WE SAY. HOW WE SAY IT.

Brilliant communication focuses on what’s said.

We know exactly what our audience wants, and throw away everything they don’t.

To do this, we search for:

  1. Unnecessary language.
  2. Repetitive language.

Here is an example from actor Kiefer Sutherland:

Their circumstances are very different and what they end up having to deal with is very different. But this idea of self-sacrifice for a larger good was something that is very much a common thread in both of those characters. I found that interesting, actually, that in the first pass of a read I didn’t get that at all. Only until I was playing it did I realize, ‘Ah, that’s why I like this character that much.’ That’s why I like Jack Bauer that much.”

Save time, effort, and make it great…

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Their circumstances, and what they end up having to deal with, is very different. Self-sacrifice for a larger good was common in both characters. In the first read I didn’t get that. Only until I was playing it did I realize, ‘that’s why I like this character.’ That’s why I like Jack Bauer.”

IMPROVEMENT. BY THE NUMBERS.

We went from 85 to 55 words – a 36% improvement – while removing none of the message, wasting less time, and giving the reader a better experience.

In a 2,500 word article or video, that’s 900 words.

Based on the average read speed of 200 wpm, that’s nearly 5 minutes of a 12-minute article, which can be trimmed to 7 minutes by removing unnecessary text.

Do we want to spend 30 minutes learning something we can learn in 15?

When we focus on creating engaging communication:

  1. It takes less effort
  2. We feel our time is better used
  3. Our audience prefers our simplicity over competitors’ complexity

In 4 words:

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GIVE ME THE MEAT.

A MASTERPIECE. ANYWHERE.

Ask yourself:

  1. What wouldn’t be missed if I eliminated it?
  2. What distracts from my core message?
  3. How can I make my communication quicker and more entertaining?

With practice, our brain gains intuition, and we become a master communicator automatically.

Take any piece of communication – see how efficient you can make it.

Want to be the best?

Commit to doing everything to deliver a brilliant experience.

Practice this skill over and over – it will transform your success in every area more than any other technique.

Small details make the difference between good and great – whatever you do, make it great.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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