The Art of Authentic Communication (Be The Glass Goblet)

The Art of Authentic Communication (Be The Glass Goblet)

Communication

The Art Of Authentic Communication (Be The Glass Goblet)

“You have two goblets before you. One is of solid gold, wrought in the most exquisite patterns. The other is of crystal-clear glass, thin as a bubble, and as transparent. Pour and drink; and according to your choice of goblet, I shall know whether or not you are a connoisseur of wine. For if you have no feelings about wine one way or the other, you will want the sensation of drinking the stuff out of a vessel that may have cost thousands of pounds; but if you are a member of that vanishing tribe, the amateurs of fine vintages, you will choose the crystal, because everything about it is calculated to reveal rather than to hide the beautiful thing which it was meant to contain.”

Back in 1932 a lady named Beatrice Warde used that metaphor in a speech to the British Typographers Guild. The speech itself debated whether design should embellish or elaborate the printed word. Over 80 years later the same metaphor can still be applied to modern forms of business communication.

These days the ’embellishments’ that business communicators use range from a tidal wave of information to overt creativity. Some modern day embellishments include:

  • Information overload designed to give the impression of knowledge.
  • The website (or other advertising) that tries too hard to be creative and ends up drowning out the message.
  • Social media gimmicks that serve no purpose other than to falsely inflate statistics.
  • Unnecessarily complicated language and buzzwords used in attempt to appear intelligent.

All of these things generally fail. Why? Because people are looking for genuine connection. They want to know what you think, what you know that affects them, and how you feel about the subject at hand – and they want it in a way they can understand.

Be more like the ‘glass goblet’ that reveals what’s inside and less like the bright shiny object that lacks real substance.

 

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

 

Get some positive words and communication tips straight to your inbox. 

Company Pages

Contact David Wise

0427 360 293
P.O Box 8184 Bargara QLD 4670
[email protected]

 

 

 

Personal Social Accounts

Speaking and Acting Are Not The Same Thing

Speaking and Acting Are Not The Same Thing

Communication

There is a line that separates speaking and acting and it is very clear. A speaker steps over that line the moment they stop talking to the audience and instead invite the audience to watch the scene being created on stage.

There is a term in acting called “dropping the fourth wall“.  Most stages have  three walls – the back wall and the two side walls. The fourth wall is the invisible wall at the front between the audience and the actors. The actors don’t acknowledge the presence of the audience during their performance. They invite the audience to watch the scene they create, but do not speak to or include them.

In speaking you share dialogue, movements, expressions and emotions with the audience. You always acknowledge and talk to the audience. Good speaking, in my opinion, is much more conversational and while you may be more animated and structured than you would be sitting down over coffee with someone, you are still projecting your own personality.

In business, a lot of people have a pre-conceived idea of how they should look, sound, and act when doing a presentation and so they try to imitate that instead of simply being themselves. In the process they a do a poor impression of whatever it is they are trying to be. 

In speaking the audience needs to relate to you, not some character that you are pretending to be. Certainly there are techniques we can teach you to help you be a more confident and articulate version of yourself, but when it comes to acting, it’s best to leave it to the Cate Blanchetts of the world.

 

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

 

Get some positive words and communication tips straight to your inbox. 

Company Pages

Contact David Wise

0427 360 293
P.O Box 8184 Bargara QLD 4670
[email protected]

 

 

 

Personal Social Accounts

Introvert At Work. Hold That Thought.

Imagine you’re a marathon runner and you’re just getting into that zone where you’ve settled into a comfortable rhythm. It’s taken a few miles to settle into that rhythm but now everything is working well and you’re really making good progress. All of a sudden someone you know beside the road calls your name and steps out in front of you waving their arms.

You feel obliged to stop running and ask “What’s wrong?”

They say “Oh, nothing. I just saw you running along there and haven’t seen you for ages so I just wanted to say “Hi!””

What?

You resist your desire to to choke them, politely say “Hi” and get back to your running. Except now you’ve lost your rhythm and it takes a while to get back into it again. Unbelievably, just as you are getting back into your zone, it happens again! And of course, once again, you have to start over and try to re-focus on the task at hand.

Outwardly you try to be polite but underneath you are absolutely seething. Isn’t it obvious you are busy with something? By the time it’s happened another eight or nine times you are ready to explode with rage. Your head is spinning and your body is so tense that it’s impossible to think about anything – let alone what you were doing in the first place. In the end you either don’t finish the race or it takes about ten times longer than it should.

Hands up if this scenario reminds you of a typical day at the office?

Every time you get into your ‘zone’ you feel someone hovering at the door, the phone rings, or someone just barges in. Every time it happens you feel your stress levels rising.

The odds are that you are probably an introvert and you aren’t alone.

Even though roughly 50 percent of the population are introverts, it is one of the dilemmas of modern life that workplaces are very much designed to suit extroverts.

If allowed, we introverts can get deep inside our own minds to a place that is extremely productive. The problem is that things like open plan offices, technology on tap, and the idea that being a ‘team player’ means always being available, are all barriers to getting to and staying in, ‘that place’. Once interrupted it can take a long time to get back to where we were.

It’s not that we aren’t sociable – introversion and shyness are different things. We’re quite happy for a chat during morning tea and lunch and many introverts are actually great speakers and insightful leaders – it’s just that we need space to let our minds work without our thoughts being interrupted.

For the extroverts, when you see an introvert deep in thought, please be assured that they don’t need to be cheered up or rescued. In fact they are probably deliriously happy being alone with their own thoughts. If you have a thought that you feel must be shared straight away or you will absolutely die, please try to find another extrovert who may appreciate it. Once the introvert has accomplished what they need to, they would probably love to hear about it as well.

 

‘Sell The Sizzle Not The Steak’ But Make Sure You Are Not Talking Bull.

‘Sell The Sizzle Not The Steak’ But Make Sure You Are Not Talking Bull.

Communication

It’s one of the oldest sayings in the worlds of sales and marketing …

“Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

The problem is that many businesses create amazing ‘sizzle’ but then deliver ‘steak’ that falls well short of the expectations they have created.

Examples of some claims that get thrown around fairly loosely include:

  • Fantastic customer service
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Best [insert product or service here] in town
  • Personal attention! We don’t treat you like a number!

Which all sounds great until the newly acquired customer discovers that in fact…

  • Their service is actually not fantastic.
  • They have had much better [insert product or service here] right here in this very town.
  • The business does actually have some policy that makes people feel like just another number.

By all means sell the ‘sizzle’ to get the customers in the door. But once they’re in, the ‘steak’ better be what you promised.

 

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

The ‘93% of Communication is Non-Verbal’ Myth

The ‘93% of Communication is Non-Verbal’ Myth

Communication

A common statistic that is quoted by some trainers, consultants, and even the occasional uni professor, is that “93% of communication is non-verbal.”

The breakdown of communication elements they quote normally goes like this:

55% visual – facial expressions, gestures, movements etc.

38% auditory – tone, pitch, volume of voice

7% language – the actual words

Let’s think about this logically for a moment…

Language is an essential foundation of our society. Words are everywhere because they are essential to communication – much more than just 7%. Even primitive societies developed languages because grunts and hand signals were simply not sufficient.

So where does this 93% idea come from?

These figures are actually a misquote of some research performed in the 1960’s. A very smart man called Dr Albert Mehrabian was interested in finding out how communication was affected by conflicting gestures, expressions and tone so he designed a couple of experiments involving pictures of people with different facial expressions and audio using varying tones of voice and pitch.

The Real Conclusion

Dr Mehrabian’s conclusion was that when it came to the communication of emotion 7% was derived from the language, 38% from tone, and 55% from visuals.

So 93% of our understanding of other people’s emotions comes from their body language and voice. Unfortunately, that has become over-generalised over the years with people applying it to all communication.

Albert Mehrabian himself is on record as saying:

“I am obviously uncomfortable about misquotes of my work. From the very beginning I have tried to give people the correct limitations of my findings.”

and

“Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable.”

Words Are Important

The reality is for the actual information and details we need to be told using words.

When we ask someone “What are you so happy about?” or “What’s wrong with you?” what we are really saying is, “I can easily tell your emotions but to get the information I need you will have to tell me using words”.

So the next time someone tells you that 93% of communication is non-verbal, take it with a grain of salt and remember the context of the original experiment.

In the meantime, before you start thinking about how you look and sound, make sure you have a well-structured message that can be followed by your audience. Good delivery helps but it won’t save poor content.

The words do matter.

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

Umm…Are Filler Words A Problem?

Communication

A couple of years ago I heard myself doing a pre-recorded radio interview and was shocked at how ‘scripted’ I sounded. I began to question whether the advice I’ve always been given to cut out filler words like um and ah had caused me to sound like a robot instead of a real person.

Since then I haven’t been as hung up on it  as I used to be and feel quite comfortable if I let the odd ‘um’ or ‘ah’ slip out. That is how people talk after all.

On the other hand there’s no doubt some people use too many meaningless sounds and words in their general speech – and it tends to get worse when they speak in public. If you use too many it can be distracting, even annoying, to an audience and also detract from your credibility.

Try to record yourself doing a speech or get someone to actually count your ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ etc. You will soon tell if there are too many.

As a rough guide, some people I’ve seen use an um or an ah every few seconds. I personally find this incredibly aggravating and impossible to listen to. On the other hand, just one here and there I don’t think is anything to be concerned about.

The most important thing is that your message is clear and understood. If you can effectively communicate your message then I’m happy. If it’s a little unpolished then you can relax knowing you are a normal human being.

 

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

Company Pages

Contact David Wise

0427 360 293
P.O Box 8184 Bargara QLD 4670
[email protected]

 

 

 

Personal Social Accounts