It was Bill Gates who declared, ‘Content is king!’, back in 1996, but does the expression still ring true? Of course, Gates was talking about the internet when he endorsed the importance of content, and you only need to Google ‘online marketing’ to see that his words are something of a mantra for digital marketers across the globe.
However, can great content really overcome poor communication?
Imagine you write a ground-breaking blog post; insightful, informative, engaging and original. Of course, you want to share it with the world, so you post it online. Only you publish it on a website that receives around two hits per week and you post it on a page which requires four clicks to get there. Oh, and you format it in size 6 font.
Whilst your content might still be worthy of a Nobel prize, your communication may have just scuppered your chances of anyone actually seeing it.
The same applies in real-life too.
You’re in a team meeting and your manager asks for suggestions when, suddenly, you’re hit with a fantastic brainwave; an idea which could change your industry, propel you to the top and put you at the top of your game…. but you mumble it under your breath. No matter how good your idea is, no-one’s going to hear about it because you haven’t communicated it well.
If content is king, then communication must be its queen. Without effective communication, your content – regardless of how good it is – is destined to fail. Deliver your message well, however, and your content will reign supreme.
When does communication matter?
If you’re planning a marketing campaign or preparing to deliver a presentation, you’re probably hyper-focused on your chosen methods of communication. In reality, however, our day-to-day communication methods are far more important.
Whilst one-off or infrequent events, such as a speech at an AGM or a best man’s speech at a wedding, are obviously important, your daily communication style matters more. How you connect with people will affect your professional and personal life, so it’s something which warrants your attention.
You might have great ideas and valuable company insights, but if you don’t communicate them well, they won’t have any impact. Worse still – if you communicate them poorly, you may miss the mark altogether and your great ideas could actually do you harm.
Put yourself back in that team meeting. Your manager is eagerly awaiting suggestions and your colleague shares an idea. Keen to get your own vision you across, you cut them off, declare their idea ‘ridiculous’, and tell them what your brainwave is instead.
Clearly, your method of communication is going to have a significant impact on your likeability, professionalism and reputation. No-one is going to get excited about a business brainwave which has put forward in such a manner, so you’ll lose credit there too, no matter how good your idea was.
Another element which can affect the impact of your communication is having a strong accent to the point where its hard to understand what you are saying. If you suffer from having a strong accent we would recommend you attend a taster session by LondonSpeechWorkShop, their accent reduction courses have a great reputation for softening your accent.
Achieving your objectives with better communication
Now imagine yourself providing polite and genuine feedback to your colleague before sharing your own ideas. Eloquently explaining what the idea is, why it will meet the relevant objectives and how it can be implemented before asking for opinions and input. All the while, using your body language to engage with your audience, making eye contact with others in the room and using your interpersonal skills to build rapport with people.
It’s easy to see why the latter option will be infinitely more successful. However, the content – your idea – is exactly the same. It’s only the method of communication which has changed.
By delivering your content more effectively – whether it’s in writing, at a meeting, in an informal group or at a corporate event – you can increase its impact and enhance your own reputation in the process. Although what you say matters, how you say it matters more.
Improving your communication skills
Although we communicate one way or another every day, it’s something we rarely give much thought to. In fact, you may assume that your own personal communication style is ingrained into your psyche and enmeshed in your personality.
Indeed, how we communicate is part of our unique character, but this doesn’t mean you can’t improve your communication skills. Learning how to communicate effectively can be far more valuable than studying anything else. When you’re able to persuade, encourage, motivate and build rapport via your communication, you’ll be able to achieve anything you want to.
If you’re eager to improve your communication style, taking a communications course can be the most effective way to do so. With one-to-one or group training, you can learn the secrets to successful communication. In addition, tailored communication courses give you the opportunity to identify elements of your communication style you want to improve. With expert instruction and supportive coaching, communication classes give you the knowledge you need and teach you how to use it.
Poor communication often arises because of a lack of confidence, so training yourself to be a good communicator can boost your self-esteem too. Once you’ve grasped the basic principles of connecting with your audience, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident when you’re delivering content to other people – whether it’s face-to-face, via video conferencing or over the phone.
Combining confidence classes with communication workshops, you can embark on custom courses to improve and enhance your style of connectivity. With immediate results and measurable benefits, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can put your new communication skills to good use.