Career and Jobs

3 Ways To Better Communicate (And Showcase Your Expertise)

You won’t be able to demonstrate your knowledge if you don’t know how to effectively communicate. Don’t let your knowledge go to waste. Invest the time and energy to speak and write clearly. When you have the opportunity to communicate, you can demonstrate your expertise, garner respect, and position yourself for career opportunities. Here are three strategies to help you better communicate with other people:

1.     Make concise points.

The more you say, whether verbally or in writing, the less likely the listener or reader will comprehend the point you want to make and stay engaged. If you can convey your idea or argument in two sentences rather than a paragraph, do the work to be concise. Ask yourself, “Does this sentence or phrase add value to the point you are trying to make?” Or “Can I get to the point more quickly?” Less is more.

In addition to the amount of content, how you structure your content can also help you to be more concise. The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) or IRAC (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion) methods can be great tools to structure and concisely convey your point. 

As an exercise, try to limit yourself to one or two sentences to address each element of the method (e.g., one sentence to communicate the situation, one sentence to communicate the task, one sentence to communicate the action you took and one sentence to communicate the result). You may find that you can communicate what you want to say in a tight paragraph as opposed to what might have been half a page.

2.     Use plain language.

Fight the urge to use complex language to (what some people believe makes you) sound smart. The easier you are to understand, the more the other person will be engaged and learn. Unclear communication accomplishes nothing except for wasting people’s time.

Try to avoid acronyms and industry jargon, unless you clearly communicate their meaning at the beginning. Don’t assume people know what you know. When you make assumptions, you increase the likelihood that other people will not understand you.

3.     Consider the listener or reader.

Communication is a two way street. You have to speak and write in such a way that allows other parties to understand you. Ideally, you should be able to communicate so that any and all people will understand you, regardless of their role or profession.

The person you are trying to communicate with may not be like you. Think about how the other person may communicate. Consider context. 

Your knowledge is useless if you cannot communicate to other people. Be concise, be clear and keep in mind your audience. Be just as intentional about communicating clearly as you are about understanding the subject matter.

What helps you to clearly express yourself? Share with me your stories and thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn.


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