Archive for July 2015

Powerful connections make all the difference

This week I’ve been considering the issue of creating strong interpersonal connections while speaking. It’s the most important way to engage, influence and inspire those around you.

Connecting effectively with others helps people take your message on board, and this increases the likelihood that you will influence and inspire them while achieving your own aims.

To make a great connection you have to truly believe in your message, and focus purely on communicating it. No other thoughts or feelings should cross your mind while you are speaking.

But the words shouldn’t just appear in your mouth and float out into the air.

If you can link the inspiration of your breath with the inspiration of your thoughts, your words will become a part of your whole physical self.

This will allow you to experience a true connection with what you are saying. It will also enable those around you to experience a true connection with you as an individual, and with the message you are trying to convey.

Being true to yourself

The bottom line in creating any sort of connection is to be genuine while you speak. Using your personal experience to communicate your unique, deeply-felt understanding of your subject will help you connect with your words and gain trust from others.

Your emotions will enhance your delivery. They will boost your connection with your audience and make your words more impactful, whether you are talking in a one-to-one meeting or speaking at a large conference.

Take a listen to the father of the digital age, Apple’s Steve Jobs, for example. Or to media queen and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey. Their belief in their message is obvious. And that’s what drives their success. It empowers them to influence and inspire.

We can also learn valuable lessons from those outside the corporate and media world. The teenage winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, female education activist Malala Yousafzai is a great example of someone who speaks from the heart. And so is Neil Baldwin – the subject of the award-winning UK drama “Marvellous” – a man who refuses to let his learning disability get in the way of his absolute joy for life.

The intangibility of connection

Explaining how it feels to be connected with your words and your audience is rather like trying to describe an emotion to someone who has never experienced it. It is abstract and intangible until its force hits you directly.

You know you are connected in the moment but you cannot grab hold of that connection. If you start thinking about it, it will fade away, as your focus will no longer be on your words.

The constituent parts of connection are unquantifiable. But acting together as a whole, they are incredibly powerful.

Creating energy to influence and inspire

When you really focus on others, with the sole aim of conveying your message, you will lose self-consciousness and gain a sense of energy instead.

Sharing your words will help those around you to feel and understand your meaning. You’ll be totally involved in your listeners, taking them on a journey from an unfamiliar place to a new comfort zone where they really “get” what you’re saying and want to run with it.

There’s no need to force anything. Your message doesn’t need exaggerating, over-emphasising or pushing. If it comes from the heart and if you really believe it, you won’t need to put any effort into speaking it. You’ll be able to communicate with a firm, easy commitment and all your attention.

Ensuring you get it right

Executive Communication Coaching can be very a powerful tool as you work towards achieving your goals. Professional feedback, support and guidance will take you much, much further than you can ever go by yourself. 

So if you want to be absolutely sure that you communicate in the most effective way to influence and inspire your colleagues, clients and stakeholders, do drop me a line or give me a call.

And remember, the business of business is relationships. The business of life is human connection.