In so many aspects of our lives – from work to relationships – the biggest barrier to our personal growth and success is often how we communicate. But the good news is, being a better communicator is something anyone can master! With the launch of C.L.E.A.R. by Maxwell Leadership®, we thought we’d focus on the first growth lane – Communication – and share three key skills for communicating effectively to not only influence, but also inspire as we focus on our personal growth and the clarity needed to lead powerful, positive change in ourselves and in others.
The following skills are adapted from Maxwell Method of Speaking mentor and C.L.E.A.R. by Maxwell Leadership’s Guide to Communication, Roddy Galbraith. If you’re looking for ways to continue your growth, personally or professionally, we invite you to learn more and subscribe to C.L.E.A.R. – your interactive, digital guide for personal growth and developing the leader in you.
Effective communication is all about serving your audience through values-based influence.
If you can improve the way you communicate, you will see more success in your life – from your personal relationships and the way you lead others to the way you approach your vision and goals for your life. The power of effective communication in everyday, ordinary lives can make an extraordinary difference. Communication – what and how we say – can change everything. But it doesn’t start with you; it starts with your audience.
The first step in communicating effectively is recognizing that it’s all about serving your audience and adding value to them – whether that’s one person or a thousand. Once you’ve made this shift and taken the time to get to know your audience, the next step is to start incorporating these skills into your communication to become not only a better communicator, but also a better leader.
1. GRAB [AND HOLD] YOUR AUDIENCE’S ATTENTION
An engaged audience will be a receptive one. There are lots of ways to grab your audience’s attention, from your personality to stories to visual effects. But holding your audience’s attention comes down to these basic three steps:
- Be clear and make a point. People will listen if they clearly understand the point of why they are listening to you and how it applies to them.
- Make it interesting and enjoyable. People will listen if they are pulled in and aren’t bored. If you don’t take yourself too seriously, people are more likely to take you more seriously.
- Make it shorter. People will listen if they know you are respecting their time. Have a strong opening, have a strong closing, and then shorten the time between the two.
2. CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE.
Talk is easy, but connection takes work.To influence and inspire (not impress), you need to make your audience feel like they know you and can trust you. There needs to be a sense of rapport to fill the space between you and them. Understanding who your audience is – their needs, their perspective, their goals – will make a huge difference in your ability to connect with them and deliver a message that matters to them.
3. CALL TO ACTION.
Finally, there needs to be an action – a tangible way for your audience to engage with your message. It can be as simple as a question you want them to ask themselves or think about. But whatever it is, the action (and the urgency around it) can have a lasting impact on how your audience is influenced and inspired by your message.
Get to Know Your C.L.E.A.R. Guide for Communication: Roddy Galbraith
Roddy Galbraith is passionate about the art of public speaking and believes it’s a skill everyone can (and should!) master. He learned the power of communication the hard way: standing in front of an audience and absolutely bombing his talk. With words escaping his mind, all he could think was this will never happen to me again! So, Roddy set out to learn how to communicate and prepare properly. Today, Roddy is a professional speaker and speaker trainer with a true passion for helping people make an impact in the world by finding their voice, crafting their message, and developing a world-class delivery. Over the past 15 years, he has worked with well over 10,000 people individually on their presentations, keynotes, and signature stories. He proudly serves as a founding faculty member of communication with Maxwell Leadership and over the last 10 years, has co-creating the Maxwell Method of Speaking with John C. Maxwell.
Looking for More? Subscribe to C.L.E.A.R. – Your Personal Growth Plan
C.L.E.A.R. by Maxwell Leadership is your interactive, digital classroom guide for personal growth. An acronym for five lanes of growth that leadership and personal growth expert, John C. Maxwell, believes is the path to develop your personal growth and leadership: Communication, Leadership, Equipping, Attitude, and Relationships. No matter where you are on your personal growth journey, C.L.E.A.R. by Maxwell Leadership will help you get to the next level.