“We just need to communicate better.” You’ve heard it before. But why is it that this most basic, most intrinsic part of our lives so often a problem?
For just that reason, often we communicate without giving much thought to it. It just happens.
So before diving into your presentation to 500 people (or even a deep conversation with your spouse), it’s crucial to put your audience first. What do they care about? Where are they coming from in this scenario? What assumptions do they have? Keeping your audience’s perspective in mind, will help land your message and achieve your goals.
Along with keeping your audience first, be aware of these common myths that exist, and actually block our ability to be good communicators:
- Your audience understands what you said.
- Your audience agrees with what you said.
- Your audience cares about what you said.
- Your audience will take action based on what you said.
While individually these things make sense – “Yes. Of course I communicated that in a way that my audience would understand/agree with/care about, etc.” – in reality, it really has to be a conscious decision to incorporate points that compel your audience – whomever that might be – to do or think or feel what you want.
When in doubt, return to this list. Even if your audience understands what you said, will they take action? They might agree with you, but why do they care?