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10 Things Stellar Communicators Do Differently

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10 Things Stellar Communicators Do Differently

Although we live in the Communication Age, it’s amazing how many of us struggle with how to get our message across effectively to our audience, whether a lone individual or a group of people. The sad truth is often those who are transmitting a message become so engrossed with what they are passionate about, they neglect to think about who is receiving that message and all the different ways that message can be perceived. Because they cannot control the reception of a message, communicators who want to stand out from the pack do the following:

1. They strive for ENGAGEMENT with their audience!

If they want their words to have impact, they will create a sense of involvement with the audience. If the subject matter allows, stellar communicators will call someone up out of the audience for an exercise or solicit audience participation. This establishes levity and creates an air of inclusiveness.

2. They seek to CONNECT!

They will strive to find common ground with their listeners. An audience who senses that their needs are being addressed will be far more likely to “tune in” and pay attention to what is being said.

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3. They display CLARITY IN A MESSAGE!

They will save the big flowery words for their great American novel and use language that is clear and understandable. Going overboard using big words runs the risk of losing message impact, not to mention the loss of attention of audience members if their minds start drifting because the language is over their heads!

4. They REINFORCE what they’re saying!

If their message has multiple points or there are several “take-aways” they want their audience to have, it is good practice to present material, give examples and have a strong summary at the end. Reinforcing what they have shared is a good way to ensure the message will stick in the audience’s memory!

5. They are FOCUSED!

A common pitfall speakers fall into is a tendency to roam in their thoughts and it comes out while they are speaking. If an audience senses that the speaker lacks focus, they’ll lack focus as well. Stellar communicators create an outline and stick to it as closely as possible. This not only gives a speech structure, but will help if their track of thought gets lost.

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6. They create SURPRISE or DISARM the audience!

Stellar communicators make an impact on their audience with the content of their message and find innovative ways to get the point across. If an audience comes expecting a cookie-cutter approach to a certain topic and they wind up getting surprised with a creative approach, this will go a very long way and will create a lasting impression!

7. They employ EYE CONTACT!

This is a powerful tactic that stellar communicators use. It immediately communicates to an audience that they are indeed real people and not just a backdrop that the speaker doesn’t see. When they lock eyes with someone for a fleeting moment, they are acknowledging them and silently saying, “I’m glad you’re here – you matter.”

8. They use VOICE PROJECTION!

It may seem like a no-brainer, but making sure they are heard by their audience is huge. Sometimes communicators forget to take into account the size of area they are speaking in. If an opportunity presents itself, they take a sneak peek at the venue they are speaking at. This will give them an idea how much they need to amplify their voice so their audience hears what they have to say!

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9. They are CONSCIOUS OF POSTURE!

Whether the audience is one person or a thousand, the manner in which speakers hold their body when speaking is crucial. Those who slump, have their heads hung low or are leaning against a podium/lecturn to prop themselves up automatically create a negative impression. If they can’t stand up straight and look an audience in the eye, then the audience will wonder what’s wrong or assume that the speaker has no faith in the message he or she intends to share.

10. They are AWARE THEY CAN ALWAYS IMPROVE.

Sometimes those of us who may be confident in our speaking style get too comfortable and think there is nothing else to improve upon. Complacency is not the way to go when improving speaking skills. They should read about speaking or attend a local Toastmasters meeting. Toastmasters International is an internationally recognized speaking club that fosters improvement in communication and leadership skills as well.

Without question, technology allows us to communicate with each other in ways we never dreamed of before. However, regardless of the innovations we’ve experienced, it is imperative to possess basic skills to represent our ideas or positions to others. Anyone can talk but if you truly want to be heard and want to be regarded as someone who speaks well, then there has to be a willingness to learn, a willingness to grow and a hunger to make your message matter to others!

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“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” ~ Alexander Gregg

Featured photo credit: David Michael Morris via flickr.com

More by this author

Cathy Robinson

Cathy blogs about mental strength, motivation and happiness at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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