TED talks are hugely popular all over world. These are 18 minutes or less duration powerful video presentations by world’s most inspired thinkers and speakers from host of disciplines and cultures. Some of TED talk presenters communicate very effectively. “Talk like TED” has caught fancy of several communicators and tips to talk like TED have wide circulation!
Can toeing the tips make you a good communicator?
World has witnessed several iconic communicators, whose words and work have revolutionized paradigm of millions of people. Among living legendary communicators are Chris Anderson – founder of TED talks, Warren Buffet – one of the richest investors, Tony Robbins – incredible motivational speaker, Richard Branson – founder of Virgin group in UK and Jack Welch – former chairman and CEO of GE. You can find numerous essays, articles and videos analyzing styles of these and other famous communicators.
By emulating these styles, can you become an effective communicator?
Then, there are host of training and development programs for communication/presentation skills. These teach the techniques in a variety of ways, including multimedia. These are very helpful to understand guidelines, rules and techniques of communication.
But, do these techniques make you a terrific communicator?
Practical experience and examples show that there is much more than techniques, tips and styles, when it comes to good communication.
Top ten advisory for great communication skills
Let us take top ten points, which most would agree, has top ranking in making communication impressive.
- Exhibit enthusiasm and engagement
Audience receiving your communication must generate a natural feeling that you are indeed excited to interact with them and that you are totally involved in what you are doing. Training or teaching can make you aware of these attributes but can’t endow the same. You definitely need 2 qualities to exhibit these – ownership and sincerity! If you are missing on these, no amount of coaching or style would help you.
- Good body language
How you present and conduct yourself have colossal effect on your audience. Your body language reflect what you are. Body language includes right type and amount of eye contact with audience. Lot of people believe they can make up the body language; not only that is bunk, it casts a bad impression on your audience.
Your body language can be good only if you are good – good by character, values and mannerism! Right type and degree of your eye contact comes through your conviction and empathy!!
- Be simple and sweet
This is what people from every class love most!
Can any technique or tip make you simple and sweet? You have to develop trait for it and be genuine to make it part of your routine life. If you are complex by thought or nature, it is just impossible that simply because you are standing on a prestigious platform, you can switch on to become simple and sweet! It would look fake.
- Communicate what your audience can relate
If you can’t carry your audience with you, it would misfire; people would not be impressed.
So, you ought to convey what your audience can relate easily and appreciate. It would come easily to you, if you carry deep respect for others. This is possible if you forego your ego!
- Put away distractions
People lose interest, if you distract. You have to stay on course. This is possible, only when you are focused!
If you are normally not focused, don’t believe that suddenly you would be able to focus, since your stakes are high.
- Really listen
It is a universal fact that listening is far more significant that speaking! If you communicate like one way street, you would be stuck and cut a sorry figure.
To be a good listener, you need to be free from your ego, biases and be open minded!
- Be brief and precise
Long communication are never welcome. Human listening faculties don’t work efficiently, when used for more than 20 minutes at a stretch. If you don’t hit and highlight the key point/s early enough, your communication would lose its purpose. This calls for presence of mind and avoiding over-enthusiasm!
- Be part of audience
If you stand apart from audience, it would be averse to own what you are communicating. You can excite or inspire people, when you genuinely show that you part of them. This is possible, if you drop your ego and prop up your sincerity and humility!
- Tell a story
All of us love stories, as these create thrill or chill. When emotions are evoked, effectiveness multiplies!
Yes, art of telling a story can come from coaching and practice. However, your expressions or body language play a vital role in invigorating the audience!
- Ask for feedback
Demonstrate to your audience how much you care for their views and feedback. Midway of your conversation, check from audience what you are delivering is making sense to them, are they satisfied with your answers to their questions, is your explanation simple and direct and then take overall feedback.
Feedback makes real sense, when you exhibit ownership and open mindedness!
If you evaluate highlighted words under above points, you would realize that more than training and tips, a good communication has more to do with your character and qualities i.e. trait.
To sum up, rules without reasoning and techniques without trait are too mechanical and mundane to make meaningful impact!