Forbes Coaches Council
No matter what role, industry or career stage you're in, it's a safe bet that strong communication skills are a key requirement for your job. Being able to clearly state directions, information and messages in a way that others can understand and follow is critical to keeping a business and team running smoothly.
The very best communicators are able to adapt their presentation style according to the audience and the medium, whether they're speaking face-to-face or sending an email. We asked members of Forbes CoachesCouncil about the qualities and behaviors that make someone a superb communicator. Their best answers are below.
Members of Forbes Coaches Council share their insight.
1. Never Bury The Lead
It is human nature to couch the "ask," or primary purpose of the communication, with language that introduces the purpose of your outreach. Strong communicators succeed in leading off with the purpose of the communication – using language that is compelling and persuasive. They avoid the tendency to beat around the bush. - Virginia Franco, Virginia Franco Resumes
2. Connect Emotionally
Great communicators ask good questions, relate to their audience as if they're speaking one-on-one, are driven by clarity, and exude genuine emotion and transparency. They never forget how people feel. A true emotional bond occurs when the speaker is actively present, open, honest and in the moment. It starts with likability, but is reinforced by a combination of delivery and impactful content. - Joanne Markow, GreenMason
3. Be Present And Clear
When speaking, don't focus on what you're going to say, judge what the other person said, or make assumptions about what they will say. Be present. In your writing, focus on the now by being clear about the "ask." Be clear on what you are asking, without all the stories or analysis. - Alan Trivedi, Trivedi Coaching & Consulting Group
4. Focus On Quality Over Quantity
People are bombarded daily with numerous emails and social media posts. Make your communication more effective by clearly stating your message and supporting points, and providing a direct call to action at the end of the email or conversation. Be brief when stating the problem and direct when offering a solution. - Ilean Harris, Ilean Harris
5. Use Your Audience's Communication Preferences
People have different communication styles. Some focus on ideas, others look for relationships; some like detail, others concentrate on the big picture. Deliver your message how the other person prefers to receive it. For strategic thinkers, give the gist; for idea people, new concepts; for those who focus on relationships, show the impact on people; and those who prefer detail, use bullet points. - Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC
6. Take Responsibility For Message Acceptance
Superb communicators are never just interested in delivering a message – they take responsibility for how they communicate. First, they make sure the message is relevant to those with whom they are communicating, and second, they ensure that the intended recipients actually understand the message. They never blame others for not understanding their message. - Donald Hatter, Donald Hatter Inc.
7. Provide Value To Your Audience
Great communicators provide value and benefit to their audience. Whatever topic they choose must give their readers/listeners something that's important to them – something that entices them or that they can relate to – and most often, there is an emotional connection. If a message has meaning or significance to an audience, personally or professionally, people pay attention. - Cha Tekeli, Chalamode, Inc.