5 Great Tips for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Be Great Communicators
Most people like to think they’re great communicators. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. While most people can get away with it, entrepreneurs can’t. Every time they miscommunicate their idea or intent, they hurt their startup. It could be a small thing like using the wrong colour on a picture, or it could be something as destructive as failed negotiations. Here are a few tricks that can make you a better communicator.
1. Pay Attention to Body Language
Many times, you’ll be speaking from a position of authority as an entrepreneur. This can make it difficult for people to speak their mind, despite any encouragement from you to do so. Customers may hesitate to voice their opinions in your store, and your employees will never be completely open to you no matter what you do.
Fortunately, sometimes people say the most when they say nothing at all. Body language can speak for them, and you can use that information to answer their unspoken queries and comments. Think about how they react to positive and negative news and sort it out from there.
2. Speak to the Individual
There’ll be plenty of occasions when you’ll have to speak to groups of people. Company gatherings, team meetings, guest speaking, and more situations will require you to stand up and be heard by a crowd. The challenge is in being heard and capturing their attention, for which you need to engage them on a personal level, despite them being in a group.
To do that, speak to individuals. Fashion your speech as if you were talking to one person. This can result in greater intimacy, which personalises the message and makes it more compelling.
3. Connect on an Emotional Level
Numbers are the most reliable things an entrepreneur can rely on. Investors and partners aren’t going to listen to vague predictions, they want numbers. Numbers are objective, trustworthy, and can be verified. However, it doesn’t mean you should approach them without emotion.
More often than not, people will remember little of what you said; what they’ll remember is what you made them feel. In the case of investors, good numbers make them feel excited. They’ll refer to those numbers when conferring with others, but they’ll remember because their excitement.
When you speak to people, be human. Don’t hide behind the shield of your startup. To connect with people, you must be as transparent as possible.
4. Adjust to Your Audience
Giving a speech is both a science and an art. You have to choose the right words; otherwise, your message ends up vague. You also have to tweak it a little and adjust it to your expected audience. Some audiences will react well to shop talk, while others may prefer a more informal and relatable approach. Problems can arise when you get their preference wrong. You can sense the room losing interest.
At this point, you have two options: you can keep droning on and hope they float back into your control, or you can adjust. The latter is almost always the right call. Zip forward to a more interesting part of the discussion if they’re losing interest. Change your wording. Ask them questions to get them into the conversation, even if you hadn’t planned on asking any. Even a change of tone can draw people back.
5. Come Into a Conversation with Intent
As an entrepreneur, your conversations have intent. You want to leave the conversation with a win. Every conversation is like a deal; when you sit down, you must have a clear idea what you want to happen.
When you prepare for a conversation, think about your intent. Do you want them to think a specific way at the end of the conversation? What do you want to get when the conversation ends? What is the desired outcome for both parties? From there, you can figure out how you can accomplish this. When you know what you want to happen, your arguments and presentation will be more focused, and therefore, more successful.
Becoming a great communicator doesn’t happen overnight. It’s also something that can’t be measured. It helps to have someone you can confide in observing your conversations and pointing out where your flaws are so you can keep improving. Learning to communicate well is difficult, but it’s also something you must do if you want to become a successful entrepreneur.