Communication is at the heart of many things you will do as an entrepreneur. When you’re trying to sell your product, you’re communicating with a customer. When you’re trying to convince an investor to choose your startup, you’re informing them how much money they could make. If you cannot communicate well, your startup cannot succeed. Fortunately, communication is a skill anyone can learn and develop. Here are ten ways you can become a better communicator:
1. Over-explain When Introducing New Ideas
One of the most difficult concepts you will have to discuss with others is what your startup is trying to sell. Your
product is likely new, and some people will be set against it from the start just because it’s a concept they have never encountered before. That can make information difficult for them to absorb.
When you’re talking about something the audience is new to,
don’t hesitate to over-explain. Go into as much detail as you can, though don’t hesitate to lay off the gasif the audience indicates they knew more than you thought. This makes sure that they understand what you’re telling them
fully. It is often better to over-explain for clarity than to say too little and risk terrible misunderstandings.
2. Put Your Key Points at the Beginning and End of the Discussion
Think of a discussion like a thesis. You begin with a statement, go through talking points explaining why that statement is accurate, and then end by reiterating your thesis statement. This makes sure that the audience knows what you’re talking about, where you’re coming from, and leaves the discussion reminded of your main topic.
3 Use Recordings Whenever Appropriate
Delivering the same points over and over again can quickly become tiresome. It’s not fun repeating yourself, even if it is to different people each time. Fortunately, you can record presentations whenever possible. Naturally, this isn’t always appropriate, but it can be useful when speaking in front of large groups in a pre-meditated setting. Training employees or group investor presentations are only two occasions where this is appropriate. As an added bonus, it can let you save your energy for answering questions and clarifications, which can make you seem more dynamic and convincing.
4. Get Used to Body Language
The way you’re perceived isn’t just about the words you use or your tone; your body language impacts how your audience responds to you. You would be surprised at what your hands are doing when you’re not paying attention.
Unless you’re lucky and you’ve presented yourself favorably all your life, you will likely have to consciously manage your body, at least until it becomes habit. Sitting straight, standing with proper posture, and keep your body language open and welcoming, all of this will take time to adapt and internalize. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right immediately. With enough practice, it will become natural.
5. Practice Your Timing
Great timing isn’t just for comedians. A great sense of timing can let you slip in details and keep conversations going without making people feel like you interrupted them or are dominating the discussion.