Put in the work and you'll improve. Soft skill, hard skill or anything in between, practice brings progress.
Communication isn't an innate gift from god, it's a skill that improves with practice. The world's greatest communicators didn't become the greatest from thought alone.
Communication is a skill that once start to master, will deliver an incredible return on investment. When you're able to clearly articulate your thoughts, right or wrong, you'll open up new dialogues, and new opportunities.
By investing in my communication skills, I've found that I'm becoming better at getting a clear point across. I'm also receiving better, more useful advice from others.
Because I'm able to ask questions they understand, people give me answers worth listening to.
Improving your communication skills will change your life. All champions are excellent communicators. Being an excellent communicator isn't about public speaking. It's about the creation of 'a clear point' in your messages. Thanks to technology, if you're a poor writer, you can easily record a video of yourself speaking to accomplish the same goal.
To practice my communication skills, I record myself deconstructing complex thoughts into simple ideas that people understand. I pick a topic, hit record and then speak until I'm done.
After, I'll listen to the memo again and ask a few questions:
- Could I explain this in less time without losing clarity?
- Are there any analogies I can use to make this simpler?
- How would I explain this to my mother?
- How would I explain this to my significant other?
- How would I explain this to a 6-year old?
I then re-record my message with that specific point in mind. I keep repeating this process until I feel comfortable stopping. What I enjoy about the above process, is that when you speak, you don't get a second chance to edit your words, reframe the sentence, or delete a paragraph.
Speaking forces you to think about structure, it forces you to think about next steps. Writing is incredible, but it has the greatest gift of all, the ability to rewrite.
Speaking is a like sketching with ink. Once you commit the line, you have to work with the line. I find this challenge is a wonderful constraint to developing your communication skills.
The more at stake, the harder the mind works.
A Lesson for Future Champions
Communication is a skill we all need to invest more time into. Intelligence is useless if no-one can understand your point. How will you rally people to your cause, when no-one understands what your cause is?
You don't always need to say, or write for a long time to get get your point across. Communication is one of those principles that thrives under the 'less is more' philosophy.
When you become a master of making clear points, you'll notice that people will gravitate toward you and your messages.