I am writing this from Athens, Greece. I have been here for the week, training some of the worlds top fertility specialists to handle the media and give more powerful presentations. There are doctors from France, The Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Denmark, The UK, and the US.
What I am reminded of this week is that while people may come from different parts of the world, there are universal communication skills that still apply.
The first being, that “people remember the way you feel, not exactly what you say.” Therefore we all need to be better listeners. I always say in my workshops that one of the most overlooked tools in communication is to give your audience (be it an audience of one or one hundred) their moment.
We do this in presentations by asking our audience questions, and then really listening to their answers. We do this by making sure our message is orientated towards what your audience needs and wants to know, and not just a platform to communicate your agenda. “I” and “Me” messages zone your audience out. Everyone, wherever they are based geographically are tuned in to the universal radio station WIFM. As you know, it’s “What’s In It For Me” and the question is are you broadcasting on their wavelength.
One of the other key elements for handling the media effectively and for giving more interactive presentations is to “assume positive intent.” What I mean by this is, never allow an interviewer or a questioning audience member to faze you.
Sometimes you are asked challenging questions, simply smile, answer to the best of your ability, and if necessary bridge, segue or flag information you think is more pertinent to the discussion.
As always, there are 2 elements to ALL communication, there is content, the WHAT of delivery and the HOW you deliver it. Both are essential to master, if you are to have greater impact every time you communicate!
And it pertains from Venice to Venezuela and from Caracas to Cairo.
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