The “Science” and “Art” of Communication Part 2

December 4, 2011 by David Hanscom

Common mistakes people make in Communicating

1. Not being specific enough

It is important to understand that often the biggest mistake you may be making is that you are not clear on what you are trying to achieve. Be very clear about what you are trying to accomplish. Ask yourself this question, “What is it I want my audience to think, feel and /or do?”

Keep in mind thinking is intellectual which changes the way they “perceive” things. Feeling is “emotional” and doing is about “taking action”. The best communication should touch on all three: Change how people think, create positive emotion, which in turn leads to positive action. If you find yourself failing in communicating it may not be from a lack of skill set, it may be as simple as you are just being unspecific. You leave it up to your audience to figure out what they want or need when in fact it is up to you, the communicator, to illicit the right response. If your audience does not “get it” you need to take responsibility and not place blame.

2. Not investing the effort and doing the hard work

We now live in the age of simple, easy and instantaneous. Convenience is nice but too often we forget that those who are really good at what they do are those who invest the effort to learn and develop necessary skills.

3. Not having something significant or important to say

Hubert Humphries said, “The right to be heard does not always automatically include the right to be taken seriously.” It is easy to write a blog or post something out on the internet but if what your putting out there has no significance or importance it will easily get lost in the noise, clutter and confusion. Your message needs to cut through those things and will affect people and make them care. If people don’t care, they don’t listen regardless of the clarity of the message.

Things that you can do RIGHT in Communicating

Think of the “C’s” of communicating. Commit these to memory and help yourself be a much more effective communicator.

1. CLEAR – Be pinpoint accurate on what you are trying to accomplish.

2. CONFIDENT – Believe that your message is important; that you are a good messenger and that your audience is important enough to invest time into communicating with them.

3. CONSISTENCE – Consistency is critical because of the amount of uncertainty typically communicated. Therefore sometimes the best tool you have for retention is to repeat your message so many times that the listener could repeat it in their sleep. Samuel Johnson said, “People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.”

4. CATCHY – Remember to avoid or penetrate the noise, clutter and confusion. This is the difference between saying, for example, “It’s a really good car” or saying “It’s the ultimate driving machine”, a great example of this “C” from BMW. Even if you don’t own one you know it is “The Ultimate Driving Machine”.

5. COMPELLING – Arguably the most important one of all. Remember, you must create positive “emotion” to lead to positive “action”

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David Hanscom David Hanscom (16 Posts)

David Hanscom is the Director of Entertainment for Y? Entertainment and co-founder of Spirit Strong, a non-profit organization committed to inspiring and empowering challenged athletes and individuals with disabling injuries. He is acknowledged as an industry expert both locally and nationally. He began his career working for A.F.R.T.S. (Armed Forces Radio and Television Services) during High School, while living in Bermuda. David has also worked in a variety of entertainment fields including radio, television (music video show production), record company street teams and concert/event promotion & management firms.


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