Miscommunication. What is it? Miscommunication is simply, “the message you sent is not the message that was received.” No matter what position, market or industry miscommunication creeps in from time to time.
It is widely recognized that there are four major places where miscommunication occurs:
- What I said
- What I meant
- What you heard
- What you thought I meant
Clearly, at any point along the continuum of communicating, miscommunication is present.
Miscommunication, though amusing at times, can be costly when it comes to staff productivity and business results.
Here are three quick tips to reduce your miscommunication.
ABC’s to reduce miscommunication
A = Assess receiver and situation
With a better understanding of who you are talking with and the specific communication situation, you will be better able to tailor your message for a more complete understanding.
You, of course, would not speak the same way with a four year old as you would a forty year old. Nor would you communicate the same doing an employee corrective action plan in private as opposed to a team meeting.
B = Be aware of your message
Know that your message is more then the words you say. Your message is really a package of what you say, how you say it, what you don’t say and your nonverbal communication all rolled up in one.
Know that your communication is going to reveal both content and relationship messages throughout. Be sure you are aware of the content message – the focus, ideas, information, etc…as well as the relationship message – the cues about your emotions, attitudes, power, control, etc.
C = Create a feedback loop
o One of the most important steps in reducing miscommunication is creating the opportunity for feedback. Feedback is the verbal and nonverbal responses between communicators about the clarity and acceptability of the message.
o Don’t let the communication interaction end until you have ensured the other person has understood by receiving feedback. That is, was the message I sent, the message you received.
There you have it, three quick ways to reduce miscommunication…it is as easy as ABC!
We all have made mistakes when giving a presentation. But, here are the five biggest mistakes we can make...and how to avoid them:
1. Don’t start like Gumby if you want to end like superman
Don’t start by whimpering “Thank you for that kind introduction.” Start with a wow factor! Entice your audience with an intriguing story…give them a startling statistic…build their interest with a quip or a quote. Whatever it is, make sure it is powerful and will get their attention immediately.
2. Don’t call it a speech if you are just going to read
Don’t read your speech or presentation word for word. Many a great business leader has put the audience to sleep by reading to them. Instead, use an outline. Refer to your outline to prompt your thoughts, then look at your audience and speak to them. Think of your presentation as large conversation.
3. If you want your audience to go away…end with a Q & A
A major pitfall is to end your exceptional speech with a question and answer session. You open yourself up, and your audience, the opportunity to publically shoot holes in your presentation. Instead, close with a review of your key ideas and conclude with a call to action.
If you have to have a question and answer session, here a few ideas:
4. If you fail to prepare, you better prepare to fail
If you don’t put in the work up front, you can’t expect the outcome to be favorable. Preparation is crucial to presentation success. Every time you face an audience you are putting your (and your companies) reputation on the line. The surest way to make a great impression is to prepare in advance. Be sure to know a few crucial elements:
5. Be ready for a lash’n if you ain’t got passion
Passion is contagious. We have all heard someone who is really excited and passionate about what they do or say. When you walk away from that person you know what their position is and, without question, what they were communicating.
The more passion you can convey about your topic, the more likely your audience will be to act on your information and suggestions. If you lack passion, your audience will surely tell you by their feedback, both verbal and nonverbal. So, give them something to talk about with your passion.
You like this info? Need to sharpen your presentations skills for the big meeting or your next company wide meeting? Get an executive speech coach today!