The One Thing Stopping You From Entrepreneurial SuccessThis post may contain affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure for more information.
We have all heard the question, “When you hear the word “Success“, who is the first person to come to mind?”
And then we all hear the typical answers…
Although these people are all renown in different fields, if you take one thing away from all of them, then they wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful as they are today.
You could take away Oprah’s Book club, Tim’s need for self experimentation, Jay Z’s rap ability, some of Bill’s CPU power or even Steve’s marketing genius, and they’d all still end up pretty darn successful.
But, take away their ability to effectively communicate and POOF! They’re banished to obscurity.
If Bill Gates or Steve Jobs couldn’t communicate how computers could change the world, who would invest in their ideas?
If Oprah couldn’t string a couple of sentences together, there’s no way she’s have her own show, let alone build an empire.
If Tony Robbins couldn’t move audiences with his words, he’d probably still be a janitor living in a 400 square foot apartment.
If… Jay Z couldn’t rap or cut record producing deals, Richard Branson couldn’t negotiate to save his life, Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t tell investors why they should back Facebook… then they would not be the household names they are today!
The True Value Of Effective Communication
People don’t understand just how much normal communication goes on in their everyday lives.
Right now, as you read these words, I’m communicating to you.
Or if you were in the room with me, I’d be talking to you.
Or if this was a podcast, I’d still be communicating to you (albeit one way).
But there is a difference between communication and effective communication.
Effective communication is key in every aspect of your life. It’s what sets blathering fluff-talk apart from hard-hitting, attention-grabbing vocal discourse.Effective communication is key in every aspect of your life. #EntrepreneurSkills Click To Tweet
This is especially true within the business world. If you aren’t able to develop and articulate ideas quickly that others can understand, it could mean the difference between scoring a big business contract and walking out the door with nothing.
From casual chit chats to your staff, to massive presentations to huge companies, here are some effective communication tips you must master in order to succeed as an entrepreneur.
1. Be Prepared
Preparation for any big talk can pay massive dividends down the line.
But how do you prepare to talk to people casually?
Having some interesting go-to topics up your sleeve, can prepare you to talk to just about anyone in any social circle.
But these topics have to be in context to the social circle you’re using them in.
For example you wouldn’t talk business to a group of parents at a PTA meeting. Conversely you wouldn’t talk about vegan recipes for newborns at a business networking function.
Be prepared. Know your audience. And you can master effective communication in any circle.
2. Exude Confidence and Practise a Confident Mindset
Some people just have confidence no matter what level of preparation. They can walk into a room with any audience and make the most charming small-talk, and the most engaging sales pitches.
How do they do it?
These people use a strong mindset when it comes to communicating with others.
Firstly, they may not be confident by nature. They may be tricking their minds into appearing confident. They are so good at this that the illusion becomes reality. That is the true power of having the right mindset.
Secondly, they never appear nervous or stumble over their words. They know if they make a mistake or if they say something that isn’t particularly interesting, funny or cool that it isn’t the end of the world. They don’t put too much weight in social conversations.
The carry-over effect of this work to much larger pitches or presentations. They know that even if they do terribly, it’s not the end of the world.
For most people, skills of this level can take time to develop.
Once you’ve grasped the ideals of this mindset, you’ll feel an uplift in not just effective communication – but every aspect of your life.
3. Make Eye Contact
Making eye contact is essential for effective communication no matter what the scenario; whether you’re talking one-on-one to a staff member or giving a TED talk to hundreds of people.
You should always make eye contact as much as you can. This shows you have their full attention and vice versa.
We live in what I like to call a “Distraction Economy”. Therefore giving people your full attention is now the highest form of praise that you can deliver.
It also makes them feel more engaged and will make the whole experience a lot more effective.
Smiling on command doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people. Especially men.
Women naturally smile a lot more than men. This is why women can be seen as better communicators and negotiators.
A natural smile disarms any potentially tense situation. People who smile will feel (and look) more friendly and likeable. However, a forced, awkward smile can make you appear fake and disingenuous.
Good news is, learning to smile a real smile is not that hard at all.
A technique I used to learn to smile when communicating was to simply think of something hilarious in my mind right before starting a conversation with someone.
Now it’s true the funny thing I was thinking of was causing my smile. But the infectious nature of my smile on the person I was talking to caused me to smile more. That reciprocating feeling made my brain rewired to know that smiling when I talk is a good thing. Now it just happens automatically.
Kind of like a Pavlov’s Dog with funny sitcoms and conversation, instead of a bell and dog food.
This is the power of re-programming your brain!
Try it next time you have to speak with someone and you’ll be surprised at the results.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
If you aren’t good at communicating you just need to do more of it. It’s that simple.
Many people will shy away from communicating with others because they feel they aren’t good at it. But as you now understand, at one point to another you’ll have to communicate with other people.
Your staff, your clients, potential investors, sponsors, partners, advertisers…the list goes on.
As an entrepreneur, your success will only arrive if you are an effective communicator.As an entrepreneur, your success will only arrive if you are an effective communicator. Click To Tweet
6. Learn when to wrap it up
Being over confident with your communication can be as bad as having no confidence in your communication.
You may love the sound of your own voice. So by proxy, you think that everyone else loves it too. Even if this is the case, world class communicators know when to wrap it up.
When speaking to a larger audience, it’s good to end on something memorable. A funny line you spoke about earlier in the piece (in comedy circles, this would be called a “callback”) or a concise sentence or two that sums up your talk are popular finishes.
While these are great for concluding an address to a crowd, when speaking to smaller groups or individuals, this can be a bit trickier.
I’d like to share an effective strategy I use when I need to end a one-on-one conversation with someone (on the phone or in person – this works either way).
I say to them something along the lines of, “I’d like to be respectful of your time so if we have no further topics to discuss, I’ll let you be on your way and I’ll speak to you soon.”
This allows me to put my colleagues’ time value ahead of my own and affords me an opportunity to excuse myself from the conversation.
No one can say you’re being rude because you are basing this move on respecting their time.
It’s an effective technique and has worked for me every single time.
Work Smarter, Not Harder By…
Practising and becoming a better communicator.
Communication is everywhere you look in all forms. So mastering effective communication becomes the first thing to conquer in your path to entrepreneurial success.
Trust us when we say if you cannot communicate effectively, you cannot truly be successful in business.
Are you a great world-class communicator? What skills do you use to become world class?
Are you know are you a bad communicator? What Points do you struggle with the most?
Please leave your comments and questions below or simply join the Smart-Es Community as we’d love to hear from you.