Misconceptions #2 – It’s all about the slides

The Misconceptions of Communication Skills

Misconception #2: Communication is about well designed slides (or a well crafted email).

Presentation and communication skills are woven throughout your entire professional existence. This is not just about your slides or how you deliver your talk. Those pieces are only about 20% of what you need to develop in order to become an exceptional presenter and communicator. It’s one of the many misconceptions of developing exceptional communication skills.

Though we use the process of developing a presentation as method for strengthening your untapped and underdeveloped communication skills, it is only the vehicle.

Certainly it is important for the outcome to include well designed slides and to deliver with confidence, but the path to those obvious results is paved with a multitude of steps that address many other behaviors and skills. Here is a list of 20 additional leadership skills enhanced through the presentationYOU master level program:

Self-knowledge / awareness. You know your strengths, weaknesses, and limits. You seek feedback and use mistakes to gain insight and learn.

Self-development. Building on your self-knowledge, you are committed to and actively work to continuously improve yourself. You understand that different situations and levels may call for different skills and approaches. You work to utilize your strengths in the appropriate amount in the appropriate situation and seek out strategies for areas which are not your strength.

Self-discipline / self-management. You recognize that at times success is as much about what you don’t do as what you do. It is controlling yourself and your conduct, your feelings and desires, your impulses – in order to improve yourself.

Often you will be called upon to stop yourself from repeating prior behaviors in favor of trying on new ones. Consistency of new behaviors over time will require self-discipline and self-management.

Patience. You are tolerant with people and processes. You listen and think before acting or speaking. You hold your judgement and are aware of proper pacing.

This shows up in many ways throughout the process. Patience for yourself and for others as well as for the process of learning and developing your ideas. Most importantly it is your ability to listen and think before speaking and acting.

Dealing with ambiguity. You can cope with change and shifts in direction. You can move forward without having a clear or total picture. You know when to move on without finishing things and are comfortable with uncertainty.

Creativity. You come up with a lot of new and unique ideas; you make connections between previously unrelated items; you are active and valued in a brainstorming session.

Perspective. You can look at both the narrow and the broad view of issues and can discuss multiple aspects of issues and pose future scenarios.

Time Management. You use your time effectively and efficiently. You value your time and others’ and can usually get more done in less time than others.

Priority Setting. You spend your time and others’ on what’s important and can identify and eliminate roadblocks.

Planning. You can scope out the tasks and timeline of projects, set objectives and goals. You break down work into process steps, develop a schedule, and execute – adjusting for problems and roadblocks and you evaluate your results against your goals.

Process Management. You figure out the processes necessary to get things done; Knowing how to separate or combine tasks to make work flow efficiently; look for synergies and integrate when appropriate.

Technical Learning. You pick up on new technical things quickly; you are open and curious to learn new technical skills & knowledge; you experiment with new tools to find what works for the situation at hand.

Listening. You practice attentive and active listening; you utilize your patience with the intent to hear people out; you can accurately restate the opinion of others even when you disagree.

Understanding Others. You understand why groups do what they do; you have a knack for picking up the sense of the group in terms of positions, intentions, and needs; you can determine what they value and hot to motivate them; you often predict what groups will do across different situations.

Honoring Individuality. You recognize and respect the unique values, perspectives, styles, needs, and motivations of the individual regardless of the group or groups in which they are associated. You value diversity of team members in thought and background.

Motivating others. You can create a climate in which people want to do their best; motivate many kinds of individuals; shares ownership and visibility; empower others; and are someone people like working for and with.

Interpersonal Savvy. You relate well to all kinds of people in the organization (up, down, sideways / inside & outside); you know how to build appropriate rapport & constructive and effective relationships; you use diplomacy and tact. You understand which communication style to use for any given situation.

Integrity and Trust. You are direct and truthful. You present the unvarnished truth in an appropriate and helpful manner. You keep confidences, admit mistakes, and don’t misrepresent yourself for personal gain.

Composure. You are cool under pressure. You don’t become defensive or irritated when times are tough. You are mature and can be counted on to hold things together. You can handle the stress. You don’t show frustration and can be a settling influence in a crisis.

Humor. You have a positive and constructive sense of humor. You can laugh at yourself and with others. You know when humor is appropriate and can use it to ease tension.

Interested in the program? Reach out!

Next issue: Misconception #3 – Get it all at the workshop!