Something I have been thinking about a lot this week, is the psychological effects of good and bad communication. When we speak, it is about as human and integral to us as humans as it gets. It is our way of transmitting our thoughts to the outside world, our way of connecting to other human beings. Of course we have art and music and dance, but words are our most easily used form. If we speak fast, rushing to get to the full stop, then it sends the message that we don’t really want to be heard, in fact, we want our turn in the spotlight to be over. If we mumble, or speak in monotone, it gives the impression that we are not connected to what we are saying, that the rise and fall of our emotions and our energy cannot find expression in our words.
Words are amazing things. They can be these conduits which channel our thoughts and energy and emotions right out there to the listeners, and in the best speakers, make the listeners feel all sorts of things. You only have to listen to a Barak Obama speech, or a great actor, to see (and feel) exactly what I mean. But words can be as empty as they are full. If you give them no time and no colour, they can slip off your listener like water off a duck’s back. It’s so fascinating! So now, in the work that I do, these elements are becoming increasingly important. It is not simply about getting the accent right, one might have a perfect accent, but be incredibly boring to listen to. It is also about knowing how to use the words, how to bring your energy to them, so that people want to listen to you, and so that you are a joy to listen to. It is this simple idea that makes the difference between an okay and a brilliant communicator. So, go and listen to a great speaker, Barak Obama on You Tube for example, and listen to how his words are infused with energy and feeling. And then try it out for yourself, and see what happens!