“Nobody Wants to be Sold, but Everybody Wants to be Helped”

Meagan Whalin

Theoris IT, Recruiter Associate

With messaging being thrown at us each and every day, how do we decide what to tune in and what to tune out? More importantly, how do we make sure what we are communicating doesn’t get tuned out or misinterpreted by our audience?

Even though you may be completely competent in the subject you are talking about, you still may not be communicating your message in the right way. Whether you are communicating with a colleague, significant other, friend or customer, being able to effectively communicate is an important factor in being successful in both your professional and personal life.

Think of your favorite musician, favorite book, favorite public speaker, even favorite commercial…what have all of these things done to stand out amongst all of the other messages being thrown at you? Connected. Through sentiment, humor or just by being intellectually stimulating, the messages that stand out in your mind the most are the ones that connect. Though the type of message and audience may vary, to be able to connect to the intended receiver is key in making sure your communication is effective.

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Here are 5 simple tips to help you connect:

  1. Know your audience. Even if you are communicating the exact same message, make sure you tailor it to each audience. The aspects to make your message stand out may vary pending on your receiver. If variables such as age, sex, culture, profession, etc. are factored into your messaging, you will have a better chance of connecting with your audience.
  2. Be an active listener. If your message lends to a conversation or presentation including audience participation, make sure you listen. At times it is easy to get so caught up in getting your message across that you are too busy thinking of your next comment instead of listening and you miss the opportunity to connect.
  3. Build message around shared values. If you have done your homework and know your audience, you should know what they value. Find ways to relate your message to your audience’s core values and they will feel like you genuinely care about them. Don’t be afraid to get personal and share stories and antidotes that help make you relatable. The more relatable you become, the easier it is for an audience to feel connected to you and feel that you are there to help them and not to sell them on something.  As the old sales saying goes, nobody wants to be sold, but everybody wants to be helped.
  4.  Ask questions and engage. The easiest way to make sure you are communicating what your receiver needs and wants to hear is to ask them. Start by stating your main points, but then follow up with a question. Gaining feedback from the beginning point of your conversation/presentation may change the course of direction moving forward. Asking questions ensures that you are hitting what your receiver cares about, instead of possibly missing the mark by covering items that aren’t important to them and being drowned out.
  5. Smile, relax and be confident. The easiest way to lose an audience or another person is to be unconfident in what you are saying. Even if what your message is true and you are sincere, you appear to be unreliable and less knowledgeable if you simply lack confidence in the way you present yourself. So take a deep breath, smile and relax.

“Communication-the human connection, is the key to personal and career success”. –Paul J Meyer

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