Thursday, January 21, 2016

Communication and Conversation to Connect

Many business professionals spend all day at their desk without actually saying a word to anyone. Yes, they are communicating – however, it seems that most communication is online. Are we in danger of losing that ease of just chatting to someone, having a conversation, or more importantly putting our point of view across in an engaging manner? Perhaps we haven’t quite come to that scenario yet as many of us are busy constantly setting up appointments, meeting new clients, networking and making connections with a number of new people. We are engaged with our personal public relations.

Effective communication is important when building relationships with clients, customers, colleagues and the media. A stimulating conversation or well-told story may be the most interesting part of a meeting, presentation or media interview. Even witty small talk with a potential client can evolve into a new business deal or project. Here are a few conversation pointers to keep in mind when meeting or networking.

  • Before going to an event, business or social, be prepared to discuss items of current interest including books, films, television shows, or current events.

  • You can find your next conversation starter by reading at least one daily newspaper, weekly news magazine, or watching a morning news show.

  • Take the time to get to know others first. People don't care about you and what you do until they know you care about them. Build relationships and trust first.

  • Beware of being a pushy promoter. We’re often so passionate and excited about our business or latest project that we talk too much and over sell ourselves.

  • Listen closely and think before you speak. Don't interrupt, let the other person finish their thought before you make your comment.

  • The 80/20 rule applies. You do 80 percent of the listening and just 20 percent of the talking.

  • Listen attentively, make good eye contact, smile and of course laugh along with their witty small talk.

  • Practice the five words that help create and maintain small talk conversation Who, What, When, Where and Why to form open-ended questions.

In my free eBook The Power of Personal Public Relations I write more about building your personal brand. Download your copy here

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Read last week’s blog Communication Culture Your Competitive Edge

Sue Currie is a personal branding specialist providing solutions to business owners and organisations to boost their image, renown, brand and business. She is the founder of Shine Academy™, providing education and professional development training and the creator of the Shine Personal Branding System™ a process she uses to coach executives and entrepreneurs to progress in their business or career. Through speaking, corporate workshops, and consulting, Sue helps businesses and individuals to stand out and shine.

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