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Communication Checklist — from A to Z

A

Accuracy: Not everything you read on the internet is true. Make sure you are getting your information, facts, & statistics from credible sites. Double check — like the “first impression”, you only get one chance to establish your credibility.

B

Be Brief: Rule of thumb: the audience’s attention span and interest level for what you are saying is half of yours.

C

Clarity: Like Einstein famously said, “if you can’t explain it to a six year old you don’t understand it yourself.” Tweak your speech, or your writing until you get it right.

D

Defer a conversation or discussion if you find yourself getting emotional, angry or losing control. You might regret your words later.

E

Edit yourself brutally. Critique each word and paragraph, to come up with the best version.

F

Be Friendly. Most audiences are far more willing to pay attention to an amiable presenter — someone approachable — be that person.

G

Your greeting is important in a speech. This is your chance to grab your audience’s attention — spend some time on planning it well.

H

The most important tool to be a great communicator is the ability to use Hooks in writing and presentations. Ask a question, use humour, tell a story, use a dramatic fact. This is how you’ll keep your audience engaged and listening or reading for more!

I

Illustrate — give examples, show video clips to make your point stick.

J

Judging kills communication. Please don’t talk down to people — no matter how much of an expert you are.

K

KISS — Keep in short and simple.

L

Listen. There’s a reason we have two ears and one mouth — to listen twice as much as we speak.

M

Motivate people. People don’t want to be lectured to — they want to be inspired and motivated. Do that and you’re a successful communicator!

N

Non-Verbal Communication. Remember, the effectiveness of your communication depends 25% on the words you use, and 75% on your body language — Be mindful of your eye contact, tone, gestures, clothes, grooming, approachability.

O

Observe and learn from others. Imitation is the best form of flattery…

P

Pronunciation is important! The Australians might pronounce a word differently than the Americans. If in doubt — have visual aids for words that you might be pronouncing differently to make sure you don’t lose the audience.

Q

Be open to Questions from the audience — in fact invite them — interaction will get the audience more involved.

R

Record — watch & listen to yourself to make sure you look and sound exactly as you want to come across.

S

Smile. A smile wins over your audience before you say a word. It can even be heard over the phone.

T

Be Truthful. Honesty is always the best policy.

U

Communicate first to be understood — then to impress.

V

Improve your vocabulary by reading, reading, reading — everything you can get your hands on!

W

Use wholesome jokes, stories, examples — make sure you’re not being offensive to any segment of society.

X

Don’t be xenophobic — don’t be prejudiced or intolerant of anyone.

Y

People do not want to hear you endlessly drone on about yourself. Be knowledgeable about world events, current news, latest bestsellers, latest music, technology etc.

Z

Zzzz…If you aren’t connecting with your audience — adapt. Something as simple as changing your tone, or asking a question could get your audience back on your side.

Deepma is a co-founder and trainer at The Confident Communicator, and is having the time of her life empowering children, teenagers, women, corporate executives, friends and family live their best life. She helps people become effective in the art and science of communication, build their self esteem, and conquer their deepest fears. She conducts training programs in Communication Skills, Leadership and Assertiveness for young adults and corporates, and has co-developed several products in line with the Company’s mission of Empowerment. "Our kids are grappling with the pressures of social media, stalking and seeking instant gratification, and it is our duty to help them rise above these influences and empower them to build positive self worth, and resilience."

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