Test your business communication skills by answering this question. Three people are reading this page right now.
- One is a model.
- Another is a businessman
- And the final person is a pro athlete.
Which of the following three introductions to this page do you think each person will like the most?
- Intro 1: Here’s a truly profitable networking tool. . .
- Intro 2: Your eye won’t believe this stylish social skills move. . .
- Intro 3: Let me run through a powerful communications exercise. . .
If you guessed that the model will like line 2 because of the words Eye, Stylish and Social; that the businessman will love line 1 because of the words Profitable, Networking and Tool, and that the pro athlete will like line three because of the words Run, Powerful and Exercise, then you’re 100% right.
So how does this relate to the tips for communication skills? People naturally prefer language that includes references to thinks they enjoy or are interested in, as well as words they are familiar with. The words Run, Powerful and Exercise mean a lot to an athlete. If you use these words when speaking to an athlete, they will be more involved with the conversation. Try saying them to the model or the businessman, however, and you’ll find they’re not really listening to you.
Tips for Communication Skills #1: Be Flexible
Language is flexible. Analogies, metaphors and similes can be employed creatively to capture the heart of your audience. Talking to an avid fantasy reader about cynics online? Why then everyone’s a “troll.” Trying to explain to a fashionista why their argument doesn’t make sense? Try “It doesn’t fit.” Want to tell a fisherman about your amazing powers of persuasion? Tell them everyone falls for you “Hook, line and sinker.”
There’s an art to conversation and business communication skills. Try being a little more creative with your use of similes, analogies and metaphors. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.