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Newsletter April 2010
I often liken good communication to an iceberg.
What people ‘see’ is only a small part of the whole issue. They see an effective presentation, conversation, interview and so on.
What they don’t see is the larger part of the issue – the work that has gone into making it good.
Winston Churchill had it right when he said ‘I'm just preparing my impromptu remarks'. Being a good communicator doesn’t just happen, it takes preparation and practice.
Most people aren’t naturally brilliant communicators, supremely confident and competent in every situation. Most of us have some feelings of nervousness, lack of confidence, or a concern over our ability to do or say the right thing in any given circumstance.
The more we can prepare ourselves for life’s communication situations, the more effective we will be and the more confident we will feel.
Preparing ourselves need not take a lot of time or effort. Dale Carnegie’s view was that if you practise your speaking skills for just a minute a day, not only can you easily find the time to do this; the results over a period of time can be remarkable.
This is the concept on which I based my DITTY speaking practice service. Practising on a regular basis can bring many benefits: Firstly, the simple act of doing something and not becoming ‘rusty’ will build and maintain skills; secondly as we work on our skills over a period of time we can practise many aspects, eg use of voice, thinking on our feet, how to stand, gestures we can use, speed of speaking, use of pause etc; and thirdly, once we sense that we are mastering these skills, imagine how it would feel to go into a public speaking / networking / interview situation feeling confident and in control.
My new e-book Better Speaking Better Thinking: General Edition supports this concept. It provides an understanding of the fundamentals of communication, offers a range of techniques for you to use, it also provides 500 speaking topics to allow you to practise the techniques and develop the skills over a period of time at your own pace. Check out the book sample on the website, here
The progress of people using the concepts has been impressive ‘My speech is more logical than before’; ‘I constantly improve my speaking and communication and speech writing skills’; ‘I found that I am able to converse more effectively and express my thoughts more appropriately in everyday conversation, especially at work’; ‘I realise how much I do not know, especially topics which require specialised knowledge, so I try to increase my readings on all topics, and not just limit myself to the same few so that I widen my knowledge of everything in general’; I can speak more coherently to topics that I've had no preparation time for, which gives me enormous confidence’; ‘It is so simple and yet an excellent, practical way to practice my skills’.
I cannot emphasize enough the huge benefits that you can obtain through regular practise. Can you spare a minute a day?