In the previous article of this series we talked about developing a company vision and we defined three key questions that can guide us in this process:
- Why does the company exist?
- What identifies the success of our work?
- How should we act to ensure success?
In this article, we will focus on another important aspect of being an effective leader: communication.
Communicating your Vision
In order to clearly communicate a vision and inspire the team, we can use a simple 7-steps checklist:
- Refer to core values
- Use the power of storytelling
- *Use rhetorical questions *
- Use the Rule of Three
- Express moral conviction
- Use inclusive language
- *Repeat! *
🔷 Step 1: Refer to core values
When communicating your vision, refers to the same fundamental values that guided you in developing that vision. Ask yourself: What are the values you want to communicate?. Once you defined this, move to next step.
🔷 Step 2: Use the power of storytelling
Now that we have a list of core values we want to convey, imagine you are on stage as you tell your audience: "We want to be bold! We want to be honest!".
Not really effective, right? I could almost say boring.
To be effective, you must convey the meaning of the core values in a way that is compelling to your audience. This is where storytelling comes in.
Communication in the form of stories will generate a stronger reaction when compared to a passive list of data. It influences not only the mind but the heart as well by engaging emotionally and personally with the listeners (2)
A good story is something a person can relate to.
To create a good story ask yourself: What do I want my audience to learn from my story?. You don't have to use your own personal experience. If you relate the story in general terms, you can use something you read, saw or heard and then share it with your audience. If it is a particular story that someone else related, then give that person recognition. (3)
Once you have your story, enrich it with anecdotes, metaphors and analogies that resonate with your audience.
🔷 Step 3: Use rhetorical questions
This is a nice article, isn't it?
Rhetorical questions can be used as an effective communication tool during a speech. They are especially useful in engaging the audience and persuading them to agree with you.
To engage the audience, use a rhetorical question that force them to think about an answer. (4)
For example, to convey a message in the form of "Doing X can be useful for Y", a better approach could be "Why doing X can be beneficial for Y?".
To persuade the audience, use a rhetorical question where the answer is clearly "yes". Once the audience begins agreeing with you, they are more likely to continue agreeing. (4)
That was the purpose of my question at the begging of this paragraph 😜.
You can also try to predict your audience questions and then use them as rhetorical questions in your speech. (4)
For example, you can say something like: "As a team/person/astronaut you may think: what should I do for solving...?".
🔷 Step 4: Use the Rule of Three
If you paid attention during the most popular speeches, there is an high change you heard the speaker saying something like: "Here are the three things I'm going to tell you".
The Rule of Three is a very powerful technique that allows people to remember the message you are trying to convey. In fact, it's pretty popular in slogans and catchphrases.
Liberté, égalité, fraternité!
Ideas that are presented in threes seem to be more easier to remember, more persuasive and enjoyable. So, next time you need to deliver an important message, divide it into three parts!
🔷 Step 5: Express moral conviction
Moral conviction is the subjective belief that something is fundamentally right or wrong. (5)
We can take advantage of your audience's moral beliefs by reminding them: Why do we ultimately do what we do? Why does it matter? Who are we benefiting through our work?
The more you can clearly communicate to your audience the moral reasons behind your vision, the more they will be willing to embrace it.
🔷 Step 6: Use inclusive language
If you are trying to engage your audience, you want definitively avoid using words like I want, I see, I expect... .
Instead, what you should do is using the so-called inclusive language : we want, we will accomplish, our team... .
Inclusive language is respectful and promotes the acceptance and value of all people. (6) When used, is shows a positive effects on people and make them feel included, valued, empowered and part of the vision that you ultimately are trying to create.
🔷 Step 7: Repeat!
And finally, don't forget to repeat the key points of your vision!
Repetition is important because:
- Helps to emphasize a point and make a speech easier to follow.
- It leverage the power of persuasion. In fact, studies show that repetition of a phrase can convince people of its truth. (7)
- Is an opportunity to reinforce the message that you are trying to convey.
Don’t use Repetition more than 5-6 times. A moderate to low levels of repetition can serve as a great persuasive tactic, but when it is used more than that it serves the opposite purpose. Studies prove that the audience seems to disagree with arguments when repetition is used excessively. (8)
So, repeat your vision multiple times, any time you have the opportunity to communicate it to your team.
Follow this checklist if you want to improve your communication skills, but don't forget that also body language plays an important role in influencing your audience.
Therefore, in the next article of the series we will talk about the importance of non-verbals communication. Stay tuned!
- Inspiring and Motivating Individuals on Coursera.
- How top companies use storytelling to drive results https://www.insidehr.com.au/how-top-companies-use-storytelling-to-drive-results/
- Communicate Your Point Of View Through Storytelling https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/10/14/communicate-your-point-of-view-through-storytelling/?sh=44e586ba541b
- How to use Rhetorical Questions in your Speech https://virtualspeech.com/blog/rhetorical-questions-speech-examples
- In the Mind of the Perceiver: Psychological Implications of Moral Conviction by Christopher W. Bauman and Linda J. Skitka
- UQ Guide to using inclusive language, University of Queensland.
- Writing 101: What Is Repetition? 7 Types of Repetition in Writing With Examples https://www.masterclass.com/articles/writing-101-what-is-repetition-7-types-of-repetition-in-writing-with-examples
- The Complete Guide To Use Repetition In Speeches by Hrideep Barot https://franticallyspeaking.com/the-complete-guide-to-use-repetition-in-speeches/
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