Communication is a crucial tool for success, because no matter how amazing your idea is if you can’t convince others that it’s great it will never take off. The problem is that inter-personal communication and more specifically speaking is an intricate system of language, tone and body language. So how do successful individuals convey their ideas? What are the habits, tricks and hacks they employee when communicating?
Engaging the person that you are talking to or the group of people that you are talking with is essential in conveying your message effectively. If you do not engage, as in speak directly to the person or persons that you are communicating with, it will convolute your message. If you treat your message and idea like it is worth listening too, i.e. that it’s worth hearing, then people will respond to that. Notice in the video how Elon Musk turns towards the interviewer, makes eye contact and uses hand gestures to make what he’s conveying more interesting.
Let’s revisit Elon Musk’s interview again. Notice that he doesn’t use a tiresome monotone, but instead modulates (or changes the pitch) of his voice, to emphasize certain points. Nothing losses an audience quicker than boredom so show enthusiasm and use your voice to emphasize certain points. If you still don’t understand what a monotone sounds like, check out the video above from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Notice how Musk continues the interview with his torso turned towards his interviewer, almost never crossing his legs or arms throughout. At certain points during the interview Musk even leans in towards the reporter to help further engage him. Now imagine how different it would be if Musk was leaned back with his arms crossed over his chest and his legs crossed. This would be instinctually perceived as a defensive posture and subconsciously translated in the brain as mistrust.
Another thing you might notice that successful people do when talking is something called mirroring. As the term suggests Mirroring is reflexing the mannerisms and body language of the person you are talking with. Humans do this subconsciously to a certain extent, called the Chameleon Effect, people will copy or emulate the person’s mannerisms that they are closest to. Mirroring is effective in creating a bond between you and the person you are conversing with. Beyond that, it also helps build trust between the speaker and his audience, which significantly helps in retention of the information conveyed.
Speaking with conviction is another tool that successful people use and this encompasses not only being clear with your communication and avoiding verbal fillers like: like, um, huh but also speaking with confidence. Look at Bill Gates’ famous Harvard commencement speech. He’s jovial, engaging but most importantly confident. He pauses correctly to allow people to laugh at his jokes and punctuate his key points.
Although speaking isn’t the only key to success it is a significant factor. By combining speaking, charisma and hard work or great ideas you too can be successful. Is there anything else you would like to add? Let us know in the comment section below...