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How to get Your Point Across

by Jane C Woods

Do you sometimes feel like no one is listening to you? Does it feel that in meeting after meeting the same old stuff is being trotted out and no one really listens to anyone? Here are a few tips which might help you to stand out more in the workplace, to get your point across and make a real impact!

These six tips will help you be heard:

Abandon PowerPoint

Itís usually dull or overpowering. Weíve all sat through presentations from people who have just been on the PowerPoint course and use every gizmo going. They either stun their audience into silent submission, or extreme catatonia.

People mentally switch off or, are looking at the gizmos not the content. Worse is the person who simply scans in reams of script that no one can read anyway!

If you must use it try to keep to three main points on one page, points that back up what you are actually saying. And donít turn to look at the screen; keep eye contact with your colleagues.

If itís the norm in your workplace to do presentations using the dreaded PowerPoint try leaving it behind for at least one day. Introduce an element of surprise, dare to be a bit different. You might start a trend.

2. Pose a direct question

Involve your audience from your opening words. For example, if youíre reporting back on sales figures donít begin with a bald statement of the figures. Try and create a sense of mystery about them.

I donít mean host a quiz (although thatís an idea!) Try "Do you remember what sales area broke records for us this last time last year?" Or "How many staff do you think completed our latest on line survey on working conditions?"

Asking a question is open and so requires closing; peopleís interest will be piqued.

3. Give some details

. Actually putting some context into your talk is helpful. People remember detail and it adds an air of credibility and authenticity. For example, if youíre talking about a trip to another site or office, include some description.

4. Give it some height

If you are at a seated meeting,stand up when itís your turn. Studies have shown that people attribute power to tall people. This is an important point if you are a woman and therefore probably shorter than your male counterparts.

Iím not advocating teetering about on heels but own your space and inhabit it all. Remember that information is received in many ways but the most commonly quoted statistics estimate:

7% is the actual words that you use
38% is your tone of voice
55% is the appearance of the speaker.

Look as if what you have to say is important. Be interested in what you are saying; if you donít look captured by your words itís certain no one else will!

5. Be specific

When you are explaining ideas use examples that people can visualise easily. People find abstract ideas harder to remember and understand. If you want your ideas to stick try and come up with a good analogy. When weíre told the national debt of a country is so much we generally donít understand or remember.

However, if weíre told that itís the equivalent of every person living in London having a massive £100,000 overdraft, it sticks.

6. Men and women use different body language

Remember that women nod to say to say ďI am listening, I understand, carry onĒ. Men nod when they agree with what you are saying and they do not give as many obvious listening signals as women.

Jane C Woods is founder of changingpeople - consultancy, training and development services. Jane has spent a lifetime working with people of all ages, class, status, income and profession; helping them achieve to their full potential. Her experience covers both the private and public sector, ranging from small business owners to large organisations, professors at Cambridge University to those who may have no formal qualifications who know they want to change their lives but arenít yet sure how to go about it. Visit Jane's website and read her blog regularly for a host of free, practical advice and information that really works.

Some Related Articles:

How to Express Yourself Clearly When Your Boss Asks a Question
The Importance of Using Positive Language
How to be More Persuasive
How to Develop an Executive Presence

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