9 Tips That Will Improve Your Speaking & Writing Styles

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9 Tips That Will Improve Your Speaking & Writing Styles

By Darryl Mobley

Being able to communicate effectively is key to be successful. Here are tips that will help your verbal and written communication.

Tips to improve your speaking style

1. Make sure your speech is not wordy, chatty or unfocused. Get to the point.

2. Do not do a lot of hemming and hawing when you are speaking by making sounds like umm or ahhhh.

3. Use the words of personal power, definitive words, words of affirmation. Do not use words like kinda, sorta, maybe, coulda, shoulda, woulda …those are not the words of leadership. They are not the words of personal power.

4. Stay away from you knows, like you know this or you know that. The key to an effective overall speaking style is to be precise in your language. Say what you mean, mean what you say and say it very clearly.

Slang words used inappropriately can blow a whole speech for you.

5. Lead off every talk you give with a powerful headline. This technique works particularly well one on one or in small group speeches. When you use this technique, spend the rest of your time delivering on your headline and then sum it all up in the end.

Another fundamental of effective communication is being adept at writing. It has been said that people who are good thinkers are good writers. This is certainly true in today’s society. If your thinking is flabby then your writing is flabby. Therefore, as you improve your understanding of how to write effectively, you will sharpen your thinking skills. Your thinking will become crisper, clearer and more compelling. Your writing will become persuasive and in most organizations a good writer gets promoted.

Tips for writing effectively

1. Make sure that you state your key point, recommendations or conclusions early in the document. Then support the finding or conclusion throughout the rest of your document.

2. Also let the reader know what you want him or her to do after reading the document early in the document. This helps them read with an idea of how to use the information.

3. Write short crisp sentences and paragraphs so as to keep the document reader friendly. We have a rule at my company that our paragraphs on a standard 8 ½ inch by 11inch sheet of paper will not exceed eight lines. The reason is that we have found that people tend to stop fully reading paragraphs that are longer than that. They scan and may miss key points. The longer your paragraph, the less likely people are going to read it.

4. Try to keep most documents to no more than one page–90% of most subjects can be communicated on one page.

© 2008 Darryl L. Mobley

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