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Effective Ways to Present Yourself Well
Have you ever noticed how leaders are the ones who are great at talking?
People flock to those with strong charisma and great story-telling skills. At the heart of it, human beings love to find connections and feel connected. Knowing how to talk is the key to lowering another person’s imaginary walls because communication is the best way to connect to another human being.
Anyone would imagine that the only time you need to have any kind of public speaking skills is if you work in the business industry, where presentations are part and parcel of the job when proposing a new business plan. It might also be a common skill to have if you were in the entertainment industry. Hosting events and knowing how to present yourself while interviewing your guests rely heavily on your public speaking skills.
However, the truth is that everyone can benefit from knowing how to speak to anything from a large crowd of people, down to just one individual because it is ultimately a communication skill. If you think that by working in the service industry, you will be able to by-pass all this need for communicating, you are wrong.
Working in the service industry means that you have to interact with your clients on a daily basis. This is not restricted to just servers in restaurants or a phone operator. Roles including mechanics, whether you’re in the automobile sector or if you’re a certified HVAC technician, you will need to deal with customers on a regular basis.
Being able to convey your ideas efficiently is a skill that can help you avoid unhappy scenarios or dissatisfied customers. Sometimes, your service might be top notch, but one passing well-intended comment might come off as rude and ruin the entire experience for your customer.
There are no black and whites when it comes to communication, some people enjoy candour to a fault, whereby there are those who might prefer polite professionals over friendly service, however, there are certain things to keep in mind when speaking to another human being (or a group of them) that might help you in your personal life or career.
Confidence will only get you so far
Confidence is a key tool in achieving an authoritative persona and it also fosters trust in your business. Confidence is convincing and is a basis for trust. When you’re discussing options or explaining your services, it’s that surety that will help you lock your clients down, especially if you are able to directly address their doubts. For instance, you are closing on a real estate deal but your client is unsure about whether they should make the commitment due to logistics or location. By offering them solutions and helping them weigh up the pros and cons, you will be able to gain their trust and in turn, boost your own reputation.
Unfortunately, too many self-help books seem to tout confidence as a cure-all, as if by having confidence you will be able to take the world and everything that’s in it. But the truth is far from that. Too much confidence might come across as arrogance. While it makes sense for customers to want the services of someone who is an expert in their field, you could lose their trust by offering them the wrong solution in a fit of arrogance.
What you want is to strike a balance between believing in yourself and knowing where to draw the line. If there is a fact that you are 100% sure of, you should stand your ground. However, if you come across some comment that makes you doubt what you know, answer truthfully that you will need to get back to them on that. Honesty is immensely valued in every industry.
Be appropriately honest
Another thing that people don’t seem to understand is how honest they should be. There’s a fine line between being real and being brutal. When it comes to dealing with customers, there should be a line of defense to the whole truth. The first answer should be one that you’re comfortable repeating to your boss, or a reporter, whereas the second answer would be one that offers more insight into the issue. This is because most people just want to be reassured. They don’t want the entire story. However, when pressed, you should make sure to give them exactly what they want. Some people want nothing more than the uncensored truth.
Now, there are certain things where you might want to embellish or even hide, depending on the situation. If you have made a mistake that can be fixed without having to call attention to the fact that you were the one who made the mistake, wouldn’t we all want to fix the problem without admitting that we caused it? And when you’re in a job interview, sometimes you would choose certain words to make you seem much more admirable or important than you really were, wouldn’t you? It is human nature to want to look good and avoid blame. If you are caught in a bad place where you aren’t comfortable disclosing the truth, you can mention that the situation is being investigated, and you’re not at liberty to discuss it further. This offers the person asking with the reassurance that something is being done and that whatever the problem was, it is being taken seriously instead of being brushed off.
When addressing a larger crowd, the same thing applies. You want to give the most politically correct and neutral response in order to pacify and reassure. If the crowd gets restless, it’s then you should address the root of the problem which is often their unease.
Talk to yourself
This is something that many public speakers practice. Find a mirror or record yourself talking. Over time, you will be able to pick up on the nuances that make you look and sound more approachable and trustworthy. Talking is not just opening your mouth and making words come out, but it is paired with intonation and body language is just as important as choosing the words to speak. As you talk to yourself or to a camera, you’ll soon lose the self-consciousness that haunt many that have not had the opportunity to address a crowd before. Being able to be self-aware can help overcome any awkwardness that we might have when interacting with an audience or customer.
About the Author
Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.