5 principles of effective communication

Learn how to craft and deliver your message so that your audience stays engaged. By Satyaki Sarkar

In a corporate environment, efficient communication is one of the most important qualities that determine how smoothly an organisation operates. Communication is key to not only getting your thoughts across, but also being recognised and acknowledged. A leader who can communicate clearly with his/her team will be able to use the skill to drive them towards a common vision, help employees understand their larger role in the organisation and help deal with the challenges that arise. It’s also an effective way of building rapport that translates into a better work environment.

1. Have a solid, relevant idea
Even if you think at first glance that the idea you have is incredibly good, you should stop and consider whether it is relevant to the organisation, and the amount of value it would actually provide. Gauge from your past experiences the points you need to improve on, the things you should focus on, and reinforce them with facts and figures. If you can support the argument you make with actual, quantifiable data, it gives you an added credibility and trustworthiness.

2. Frame what you want to say
While a lot of people believe that the best practice is to go into a meeting or discussion with an open, unbiased mind, that doesn’t mean you should not conduct some amount of research beforehand to help you structure your points and arguments. Effective communication can only occur when you know exactly what you wish to say and are prepared enough to be able to counter the arguments that others put forth with your own. Spontaneity is an admirable trait, but being prepared and knowing what you wish to say is one of the most important steps to being acknowledged and heard.

3. Select the right tools
Effective communication relies a lot on methods you use to put across your points. Guage the kind of person you are speaking to. This helps you determine how to present your information. For example, if you are speaking to someone from a technical background, they might appreciate more facts and case studies. But if you are speaking to someone with a creative mindset, you might wish to use visual aids, graphics, etc to help make your point and aid retention.

4. Understand your audience
People often neglect doing their research on a key component of communication—the audience. You knowledge of them will help you better structure your thoughts, put forth targeted points, and understand which aspects will be irrelevant to them. So learn what you can about the people you will be addressing, their background, position in the organisation, interests, etc. It will help you mould your talk so that it resonates with them and therefore is of greater value.

5. Be passionate
Probably the most important point of all, this is very much a necessity, because unless you are excited and passionate about the ideas you are speaking about, people will become disinterested quickly. The confidence and conviction that you have in your idea will directly influence the level of interest in others. Being passionate also doesn’t mean that you should dismiss others’ views and ideas, but instead be clear and confident about what you are saying and recognising the value it has.

Photograph: Pressfoto/ 

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