In the modern era of frequent networking events, higher turnover than ever in corporate environments, and unlimited online platforms to meet new people, how can one stand out from the crowd? As I built my past businesses and current company completely on differentiating myself, here are 3 Crucial Communication Tips to Make an Impression!
#1. Speak in a more confident manner known as downspeak. Instead of ending a sentence in a lower tone of voice (known as downspeak), many people try to sound chirpy, helpful, and “nice” by trailing upwards, otherwise known as upspeak, resulting in the statement sounding like a question. Many people do this, to a point where there is satire and mimicking of this “valley-girl” style. Sadly, instead of sounding eager and supportive, you’ll be perceived as weak, desperate, unsure, and insecure.
Even when poising a question, it’s more beneficial to state it in almost a monotone way, ending on a down-note. For salespeople, this is crucial! The more you want a sale, the more you’re likely to trail upwards in anticipation of an answer. The person on the other end will sense your anxiety and hesitate. Try stating the same question as if you’re delivering a statement or a fact. That way, you’ll sound more serious and commanding.
TIP: This is especially important for younger and female demographics to be aware of as naturally we have a higher vocal pitch on average. Practice speaking in more downspeak; you’ll notice a BIG difference in the way you’ll be perceived.
2. Ask open questions and build rapport sincerely. Almost behave as if you’re trying to win the “best customer service of the year” award. At any event, whether it’s a house party, interview, co-worker’s birthday party, it always helps to be liked! I am a huge believer and follower of Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Make Friends and Influence People”. The core tenant is to ask questions to get your audience talking. Your sincerity, interest, and genuine questioning will help improve your relationships and influence on others as they reciprocate and see you in a new light. Everyone likes attention and care from others. If you can make someone else feel special, even if for that one moment or day, they’ll definitely remember you.
TIP: You can go above and beyond by following up diligently, or taking notes. The next time you initiate contact or catch-up with your client/colleague/business prospect/friend, you’ll have something very relevant to discuss. Speaking to something you’ve already discussed will tell your audience that you truly listened. That goes a loonnnggg way!
3. Be confident, aggressive and unapologetic! I am described as “aggressive”, “go-getter”, “perseverant” and sometimes “pushy”. I don’t mind whatever you call me. I love it and I’m proud of my “aggression” and/or “pushiness”. Similarly, I’m considered “bossy”, “stubborn”, “very opinionated”, etc.. Again, I say thank you! A core tenant of communicating effectively is not backing down and staying confident in yourself and your message.
If you believe something is important, your conviction and supporting evidence will help you stand out. It will also warn your listener, you’re not to be trifled with or disrespected. These subtleties will help you gain more traction when you do push forward initiatives. Of course, it goes without saying, communicate respectfully and refrain from being too critical or condescending.
Furthermore, like this advertisement by Pantene, words like “sorry” are very subversive in today’s culture, again, especially for women. After watching this video, I am especially sensitive when uttering the word “sorry” unless I truly need to apologize for something egregious or tragic. Even if I’m late, I replace “sorry” with “thank you”. I love this cartoon by Andrea Trisdale. Don’t say “sorry” unless you really owe someone a true apology. Besides, sorry doesn’t mean anything if you say it all the time!
I’d love to hear your tips on communication – what works for you?
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