Different Communication Preferences and How To Tackle Them

We all have different preferences of communication. Baby boomers like phone calls and talking face to face. Millennials prefer texting and emailing. Some people like being checked up on, while others don’t want to communicate unless there is an issue. For example I personally enjoy emailing. Having instructions and tasks written down gives me something to refer back on. Since there are so many preferences, how do we tackle each one?

Email, Text, and the Written Word

You have to BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front).

BLUF is when you put the most important point at the top and up front. This allows you to adapt to different communication styles. Some people want to know your main point so they can give you an immediate response. After you BLUF, provide an explanation those who require more context to understand what you want to achieve.

In-Person

1. Start with building a rapport.
You might be wondering why you have to discuss what you did this weekend, but using 5 minutes at the start of the conversation to learn more about the person goes a long way. Ease into the conversation that you want to occur, while building impactful relationships.

2. Listen before replying.
You will see better results from your conversation if you are actively listening to what someone is saying. Don’t guess at the response they want, service the conversation with a thoughtful and meaningful reply by gathering all of the context first.

3. Avoid distractions.
There is no such thing as multi-tasking. This is actually just task switching. Put down your phone, put down your book and give someone your full attention and engagement.

 

Presentation

1. Use the Sandwhich
Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then then tell them what you told them. It’s very similar to how you format an essay. You start with your thesis and your 3 main points. You then explain the 3 points and how they support your thesis. Finally, you state how you were able to use these 3 points to prove your thesis.

2. Don’t talk to the slides

When you talk to the slides you are disconnecting yourself from your audience. You want to create eye contact with them and build a rapport. People are there to learn about your presentation and your thoughts. If they wanted you to read your slides, they would just read them later themselves.

3. Figure out your Presentation structure
For example you can use Minto which works on a pyramid building model. You have a main point (the top of the pyramid), then you have 3 supporting points beneath that, and maybe points to support your main 3 supporting points. There are different frameworks that will help you convey your information more clearly. Other formats include SCQA and SCIPAB.

4. Practise
The more you practice, the better the presentation will be. Competence breeds confidence. The more times you do something the more you believe that you can do it.

Which communication preference are you going to tackle first?

Contributed by Tiffany Kwong www.thepickyprincess.ca

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