20 Golden Rules for Effective Communication
- Prepare: know exactly what you want to say before you say it.
- Be attentive: understand the reactions of the audience.
- Show you are listening: make it obvious that this is a two-way process and that you accept the feedback that you are getting.
- Check understanding: does the audience pick up what you are saying?
- Be slow to pass judgement: let things settle before forming any conclusions.
- Use silence in an appropriate manner.
- Use clear and effective language.
- Avoid any possible ambiguity within the message.
- Use non-verbal communication to underpin the message (and look for responses from the audience from their non-verbal communication).
- Use repetition to sell and make emphasis.
- Have a good structure: have an Opening, a Main Body and a Close.
- Select the best method to use to get the message over: what takes the least time, what will give you the greatest accuracy, the lowest cost, what will reach the greatest audience and what will get the message understood in the most effective manner?
- Be consistent – avoid wavering from your message.
- Make sure the content is relevant to the message and the audience.
- How memorable is the message: key factors here are the critical phases of the Opening and Close.
- Be brief: keep things short and sweet.
- Use Facts to add power to the message and (where appropriate!) show your feelings on the topic.
- Consider the WIIIFM factor: What Is In It For Me? Know the bias and interests of the audience.
- Call to Action; good communication needs to excite and stimulate the recipient(s) into direct action.
- Follow-up processes: once the message has been sent make sure that you check to see that action has been taken.
Use these Rules consistently to get the message across how you want it to be received!
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