Jim Rohn once said, “Communication is the most important skill in life, because it allows us to connect with others, build relationships, and achieve our goals.”
There are a number of ways you can sharpen your communication skills. One that may come as a surprise is sales training. Successful sales professionals possess an almost magical ability to weave captivating narratives and adapt their tone to resonate with their audience.
You can borrow a leaf from their playbook with these steps.
Be Clear and Concise
When you speak, don’t beat around the bush. Trim away unnecessary details and try to get your point across in as few words as possible. Remember Thomas Jefferson’s wise words: “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”
When you are clear and concise, it shows respect for the other person’s time and attention. Plus, it keeps them engaged and prevents them from becoming overwhelmed with excessive information.
Clarity also enhances understanding and keeps confusion at bay. Not only will the listener more easily pick up on your points, but you’re also less likely to lose your train of thought when you express ideas concisely.
When you listen, you create bonds that transcend mere words. You’re sending a message that the speaker’s thoughts matter. In this exchange, a profound transformation occurs.
Research by the Global Listening Center found that when the speaker feels valued, their confidence is uplifted, and a bond forms that’s fortified by your genuine attention. When people feel appreciated, they become your allies, cheering you on as you chase your dreams.
So, give the gift of your full attention, and craft connections that inspire mutual support and growth.
Embrace the Power of Silence
All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone, said Blaise Pascal. Silence can be unnerving. That’s why many people often rush to fill it with meaningless chatter. However, sales communication training reveals that a well-timed pause is a game-changer in communication.
After delivering a key point, it allows the message to sink in. It can also prompt others to reveal crucial details that you could use to tip the scales in your favor.
When you hit the pause button, you also get a moment to collect your thoughts. This small action can make you appear more composed and in control, according to research reported by Psychology Today.
Sync Your Words and Body Language
Picture this scenario: you’re excitedly sharing your ideas. Your body language mirrors that enthusiasm. There’s a sparkle in your eyes. Your gestures are animated. This harmony between your words and body language helps drive your message home, according to sales trainers. Your words are not just heard; they’re felt. As a result, you project confidence, sincerity, and authenticity.
A study by the University of California, Los Angeles found that people who use congruent nonverbal communication (i.e., their body language matches their words and tone of voice) are more persuasive than those who don’t. Another by the University of Pittsburgh found that people who use facial expressions to express their emotions are more likely to be liked and trusted.
So, the next time you communicate, notice your gestures, posture, and expressions. Do they complement your message or sabotage it?
To truly hone your communication skills, practice is paramount. Just like sales professionals train their skills by giving mock presentations, you can improve your communication chops by practicing. So, take every opportunity to engage in conversations. Whether it’s with colleagues, friends, or even strangers, each interaction is a chance to refine your art.
Experiment with different communication styles. Observe how your words and gestures influence the reactions of others. Like any skill, the more you practice, the more proficient you become.
In conclusion, the art of effective communication is a multifaceted skill. It can have a significant impact on various aspects of your life. So, consider drawing inspiration from the realm of sales training, where communication takes center stage.