Pest Perspectives - May/June 2015 - (Page 19)

feature FOUR SECRETS to Communicating with Clarity By Mark A. Vickers, Speaking Is Selling F rom the client calls to staff meetings, your ability to deliver a message with clarity will have a dramatic impact on your success. What is the cost of unclear communication within your organization? When it comes to your spoken communications, planning and preparation allows you to deliver your message more effectively, increasing the likelihood others will respond as desired. As you consider your approach to any conversation or presentation, consider the four keys to developing clarity: * Substance * Simplicity * Structure * Speed During your contemplation of substance you will invariably encounter a degree of "Ego Impact." While you would like to believe that people care about everything you have to say...they don't. As part of your message development process, continually ask "Who cares?" When you consider what you are presenting from the perspective of your audience, you can honestly assess whether or not they care about certain statements or points. By removing elements that your listener doesn't care about, you will begin to create truly powerful and impactful messages using fewer words than you imagined possible. * Using shorter, more concise sentences * Using a short story to illustrate a point Keep in mind that the intent of simplicity is not to talk down to people, but to present a message that is easy to understand, interpret, and act on. During your process of simplifying your message, don't be surprised if your ego kicks in again. Part of your mind will try to convince you that those fancy, complicated words and long sentences with multiple commas and semi-colons make you sound more impressive. Remind yourself that "less words = more message." Substance Simplicity Structure When you are communicating with others, you have a message to share and a desired outcome of the conversation. When you focus on the substance, you start taking an intentional look at your message to identify the key message and essential elements. By devoting time to developing your message you increase your probability of success. Ask yourself: * What is the single most important message I want them to hear? * What are the most important details I need to share? * What do I want them to remember? * What action do I want them to take? * What can I say or ask that will help them take action? * What story could I share to illustrate benefits? These questions will help you identify the most important substance of your presentation and form a strategic outline. Having identified your core substance, ask yourself: "How can I deliver this in the most simplistic manner possible?" Keep in mind that when you are presenting to others, they are: * Listening to you * Processing the information * Thinking about the information and what it means to them * Watching you * Distracted by their surroundings * Feeling their cell phone vibrating * Thinking about other things they need to do Given the level of thought and distraction occurring within the mind of your listener, the more straightforward your message, the higher the probability your message will stick with them. As you develop your message, consider: * Using simple terminology, avoiding buzz words and jargon Once you are clear on your key message and wording, developing the structure of your discussion or presentation will help you avoid missteps. Some of the key areas that require attention are: * Rapport building * Opening * Information gathering * Information sharing * Story structure and placement * Closing/call to action As you become more strategic about the structure of your presentations, you will develop a library of common openings, stories, and calls to action that you will be comfortable using in a variety of situations. In the early stages of becoming more intentional about the structure of your presentations, you may have concerns that you will become bored with structured presentations. When this occurs, remind yourself that your | Pest Perspectives 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pest Perspectives - May/June 2015

Presidential perspective: Out and About with FPMA
FPMA 1980-1999: More Influence, a More Professional Image
Update on the Invasive Conehead Termite Treatment Program in South Florida
Four Secrets to Communicating with Clarity
Capitol concerns: Legislative Tour 2015 Recap
FPMA Leadership: Class 2 Takes on Tallahassee
FPMA corner
Operational excellence: Five Characteristics of Attractive Pest Control Merger Partners
Advertiser index

Pest Perspectives - May/June 2015