There are good communicators. And then there are amazing, outstanding, powerful communicators who will have you on the edge of your seat with their riveting delivery. But what makes the difference between a decent communicator and someone who will instill awe in the people they interact with? There are several, sometimes subtle habits that master communicators have truly understood and leverage on a regular basis.
If you’re looking to elevate your own communication skills, adopting these habits will help you get to the next level. But it’s important to remember to remain authentic and not try to be someone you’re not — it’s not about emulation but learning how to unleash your own strengths and style.
“The tendency to lean in a particular direction is heavily influenced by personality type and this fact alone is often overlooked. When in doubt or ignorant about your communication style it’s easy to overcompensate or adopt a style that doesn’t suit you. When we communicate outside of our personality types and authentic capabilities, it oftentimes isn’t received as well,” says Victoria Baylor, TEDx speaker and mindset and brand brilliance coach.
“The best communicators are comfortable in who they are and their personalities. They are able to authentically connect with their audience because they have first authentically connected with themself.”
So you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you don’t need to try to be Brené Brown to nail your next presentation. However, if you’re ready to crush it while also staying true to yourself, here are six things master communicators do differently. Steal their tricks to up your own communication game.
They leverage personal experience
There is a reason people say what is most personal is most universal. It turns out that your past experiences that don’t seem immediately relevant or some of the insights you learned the hard way can end up being your edge when transmitting the information. “Master communicators are able to leverage their experiences, observations, failures and successes to successfully transmit an idea to others,” says Baylor.
They continuously hone their craft
Master communicators love deconstructing their communication habits and analyzing their strengths and areas of improvement. They geek out over content about effective communication and are always learning and growing. “They spend time testing their communication skills and looking to others for feedback. They spend a great deal of time honing their craft,” says Baylor.
They use words thoughtfully
The best communicators in the world weigh every word carefully. They respect the power of words and learn to communicate with precision and thoughtfulness. “They learn not to talk for the sake of talking but to use their words and voice masterfully to achieve a goal or effect. They also do their research to ensure the information they are providing is relevant to the audience they are seeking to connect with.”
They always focus on providing value
Some good communicators enjoy hearing themselves talk. But outstanding communicators transcend their own experience to focus on the experience of the audience they are addressing. They have a value-first mindset, according to Baylor. “Their focus is not on themselves but on how they can be the most compelling and valuable to their audience,” she says.
They are amazing listeners
Here’s a secret about the best communicators: They sometimes spend more time listening than talking — and that’s what makes them excel when they do speak. “In order to talk about things that are of the utmost importance to others, they have to first be able to form those thoughts. Those thoughts can come from spending adequate time receiving information from others, thinking deeply and being able to see what others are missing. Those unique insights coupled with their unique personality and style of presentation can make for an engaging and thought-provoking speech,” says Baylor.
They never lose sight of their convictions
If you’re going to practice a single habit from this list, let it be this one. Baylor says that passion is critical to making a memorable impression when you communicate: “Masterful communication is partly perceived by things like voice sound and presentation style, but also by the passion someone has for their topic. Many times even speakers who lack a strong voice or vocabulary will still project powerfully due to their internal conviction.”