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Communicating with Power

Power in communication refers to the ability to influence, persuade, or make an impact. A powerful communication is associated with self-confidence, credibility, and effectiveness.

The following are some ways you can communicate with power verbally:

Stick to the point

Powerful communication is not about saying as many things as you can in a given period of time. Rather, it is about sticking to what is relevant to the discussion, and getting your message across in the shortest — but most impact-laden — way possible. Get rid of fillers like “uhm…”, “you know”, or “actually” in your delivery, and avoid off-topic statements. Just provide the bare bones — the ideas your audience would be most interested in knowing, or the ones that promote your intentions best.

Don’t be too casual

Note that phrasing appropriate when talking with friends is not necessarily appropriate for business-related meets. The use of slang, street talk, and poor grammar can detract from your credibility, especially if you’re mingling with potential clients, employers, and business partners. Events that require you to come across as impressive may require the use of industry-specific jargon and a formal tone — so adjust accordingly.

Emphasize key ideas

Stress the highlights of your communication. For example, people who are delivering a sales pitch should emphasize the main features of their product or service. Those who are presenting their opinion on an issue should explain the crux of their arguments, and build from there. Even if you’re merely expressing interest or congratulations, make sure the person you’re talking to would remember what you have to say. Emphasis in verbal communication comes in many ways, including repetition of key points, giving specific examples, accenting particular adjectives or nouns, or even directly saying that “this is really a point I want to emphasize.”

Tailor-fit your communication to your audience

A powerful communication is one that connects with one’s audience. In this case, minding the readiness, attention, age, and educational level of your audience is very important, so that you don’t overwhelm or underwhelm them. Social skills are primarily about flexibility; the better you can adjust to changes in your audience profile, the better off you’ll be.

Connect

Power in communication is sometimes determined by the quality of your rapport with others. You may need to “warm up” your audience, make them comfortable, and show them that you sincerely want to talk with them. The more others see you as “one of them”, the better their reception of anything that you have to say will be. Your non-verbal communication can be a big help in connecting with others.

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