Improve your communication skills

Today has been particularly instructive in terms of learning some communication tips. This morning I came across a post on Strive Notes focusing on written communication. The post talks about the process of putting together an effective written message namely:

  • Identify your main communication objective
  • Decide on the message(s) you want to communicate
  • Analyse your target audience
  • Research your supporting facts and figures
  • Resolve conflict between what you want to say and what your audience wants to hear (good one this)
  • Focus on your intended target behaviour

I’m not usually so focused, must try it out somtime. Read the post here.

This afternoon I came across another related post. Seth Godin blogs around effective Powerpoint presentations. He stresses that an effective presentation is less about the words you are trying share and more about the emotion you invoke in your audience. These are his rules for an effective presentation:

  1. No more than six words on a slide. EVER. There is no presentation so complex that this rule needs to be broken.
  2. No cheesy images. Use professional stock photo images.
  3. No dissolves, spins or other transitions.
  4. Sound effects can be used a few times per presentation, but never use the sound effects that are built in to the program. Instead, rip sounds and music from CDs and leverage the Proustian effect this can have. If people start bouncing up and down to the Grateful Dead, you’ve kept them from falling asleep, and you’ve reminded them that this isn’t a typical meeting you’re running.
  5. Don’t hand out print-outs of your slides. They don’t work without you there.

Great reading!

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