Those working in PR and the media are assumed to be natural communicators. Nothing is further from the truth.
We will have all been there. Perhaps presenting to a client and having that awful feeling that their attention is drifting away. If not that, then the seminar, conference or training session where your mind simply wanders.
We all over-estimate our own ability as a communicator, and we are not as good as we think we are.
I'm not a great fan of 'Eight things to do before breakfast' type articles, but this one in Forbes (July 2016) offers some real gems.
Talk to individuals. it doesn't matter what size group of people you are talking or presenting to, talk to them as if talking to just one individual. Your audience will feel far more engaged.
Listen, don't talk. People love to talk about themselves, whether that be their home or professional life. Use that to your advantage.
Body language. Hugely under-estimated and very important. The most exciting presentation in the world will be flat and dull if the speaker appears wooden.
Rehearse. In front of the mirror, with friends or your partner. The more you rehearse the better and more natural you will appear.
When it comes to communication, we all tend to think we’re pretty good at it. Truth is, even those of us who are good communicators aren’t nearly as good as we think we are. This overestimation of our ability to communicate is magnified when interacting with people we know well. Researchers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business put this theory to the test and what they discovered is startling. In the study, the researchers paired subjects with people they knew well and then again with people they’d never met. The researchers discovered that people who knew each other well understood each other no better than people who’d just met! Even worse, participants frequently overestimated their ability to communicate, and this was more pronounced with people they knew well.