I always assume that at least half of meeting attendees will not grasp the value of what anyone is saying to them. Perhaps you should communicate based on this assumption, as well.
First, some meeting attendees may not be tuned into you. Or anyone else, for that matter.
Even if you are meeting with a group of your professional peers, their “listening antennae” may not pick up your signal all that well. Either, they are distracted or pressured. Or, they use the same set of professional terminology, only slightly differently, due to their professional context. Then, again, they may not be tuned into your communication style or message.
Which is why, when you remain blissfully unaware of your effect on an audience or small group, you can lose their attention. Especially, if you speak at them, lecture-style, instead of connect with them: visually, verbally and experientially.
After all, at the end of the day, the story you tell must be relevant and valuable. To them. Not you.
Then, some meeting attendees do not understand the words you use.
When I work with a multi-disciplinary or cross-functional group, my first assumption is that at least half of the folks in the room speak different professional languages. And, I assume that even though we are all together, we may not be on the same page. Visually, verbally, educationally, generationally, experientially.
As a result, how you and I choose to use our words to communicate becomes extremely important. In fact, word choices become so important that we must maintain continuous connection with that small or large group. Every time we communicate. Even if what we say is only a “yes” or a “no.”
Because word choices, and our delivery, voice tone and body language are part of whether, or not, people understand what we are trying to communicate.
My advice for this week. Pay more attention to whether meeting attendees truly understand what you are saying.
Traditional gaps in professional communication tend to be perpetuated when the speaker is self-focused and intent on getting their own point across. Consider refining your message, and your story, based on whether people understand what you are saying.
Because when more than half – if not all – of meeting attendees understand what you are saying, everyone gets to where they need to go. Productively, profitably, impactfully. And, most of all, Together.
Then, get focused on creating a room full of fully-engaged meeting attendees, who cannot wait to hear the next installment of your story. Take the next steps.
- Planning your next corporate or association meeting? Engage me to present one of my Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs. Contact me.
- Download my new checklist and worksheet: Six Professional Development Targets to Hit each Month.
- Subscribe to my blog. Share your email address in the red box in the right column of this blog. Never miss another insightful post.
Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset® Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs and workshops are created for organizations and associations, like yours, who want to catalyze professional innovation, employee success and customer retention. There is no better way than storytelling to bridge communication disconnects between professional disciplines, pay grades, generations and levels of education. Babette gets everyone to where they need to go. Together!
Find out more about Babette here. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform. Contact Babette here.
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