No one. Not nobody. Everyone you know who’s an incredible communicator has worked on it. Anyone who you come across who’s an impressive public speaker has worked on their presentation skills. They most likely still have a coach helping them.
But the craziest thing is that everyone has a difficult time communicating in stressful situations and everyone thinks they’re the only one. You’re reading this right now thinking I need to improve my ability to speak in front of an audience or at a meeting and you think you’re the only one who needs & wants to make those improvements!
I never know what to say at cocktail parties when I meet new people! I have a brilliant idea, but it comes out all messed up when I tell it at the client meeting!
It’s crazy ironic! Everyone needs to improve and everyone thinks they’re the only one. Ha!
What about Ted Talkers?
Your favorite Ted Talkers? Do you think they just got up one day and went over to their local TEDx stage and gave an impromptu speech? No, I know you don’t think that. So why do you let it make you feel like you’re not a good presenter or speaker in general. Don’t do that!
They’ve been working on that very speech for many, many years. They most probably started in the church basement. It’s possible they haven’t worked on their interpersonal communication skills as much and still feel a bit shaky when meeting new people or making introductions.
Or perhaps they go into meetings and they’re ultra-wordy. They can’t get to the point. They’ve mastered that speech but they still have work to do in other areas.
See? In the infamous words of Madonna: Nobody’s perfect.
Why do I feel shame that I’m not a great communicator?
You went to school, and you focused on academia. You learned science, math, history, geography, maybe even music, but no communication skills! Show & tell began and ended in kindergarten. Did you learn how to introduce yourself in 3rd grade? Was it focused on? Did someone teach you how to make small talk? Did anyone prepare you for speaking in groups?
You work hard for your degrees, and then you get a job. And at work, you practice your skill-set for many years. You don’t get mad at yourself if you don’t know something, you go out and learn it! Your boss will pay for it!
Imagine if you put 1 thousandth of that energy into your communication skills?
Picture yourself getting the job or the promotion easily. See yourself at the cocktail party, telling exciting stories and developing strong relationships. Imagine knowing what to say and how to say it in all situations!
That’s precisely what can happen within a few weeks of training! Everyone you know who’s an incredibly, charming, engaging speaker has put the time in. They’ve gone out of their way to learn the techniques and practiced them.
They’re the ones getting the best jobs and the glory!
How to be a great communicator.
First what you need to do is learn to find your relaxed place. Learn to not be nervous. The prior link is a step-by-step guide to becoming a confident, clear & convincing communicator.
Next, I recommend learning to use a voice that’s magnetic and attractive. Wait, did you think the voice you’re using now is unchangeable? Au contraire mon frère! Your real voice is hiding behind physiological tension in your throat.
Then you’ll want to learn to be concise and use a varied intonation pattern. When the stakes are high people tend to be wordy and use a flat intonation pattern which is boring! I know you’re not looking to bore people. You can even turn boring, tedious material into something exciting and persuasive.
Great communicators are trained, not born.
Ok, maybe some folks have a proclivity for it, but they still worked at it. People who excel at speaking have most likely practiced since they were a child. I don’t know anyone who did that…Ok, you got me! I used to read advertisements aloud when I was a kid. I spent hours practicing!
I changed my NY accent from the ages of 14 to about 18! I can’t even do my own accent anymore! I did it because I felt, at the ripe old age of 14, that my lawn-guy-land accent wasn’t going to take me as far as a Standard American English accent would.
And I changed my voice after grad school. My pitch was high and my voice was tight. I talked too fast! Ha! I used upspeak!
Don’t tell anyone!
Benefits of being an incredible communicator.
Confidence. When you learn to communicate with folks in a comfortable, crystal clear, and highly persuasive way it increases your confidence. Then in a glorious cycle that confidence helps you to become even better.
There’s no end to improving your communication skills. You can always get better because you’ll continue to find yourself in more and more challenging situations. I found myself on Good Morning American and The Today Show. I was on WPIX! I had reasonable fears but my relaxation exercises kept me sounding like a superstar 🙂
You deserve to be on GMA and The Today Show! You deserve your message to e heard. So take a class with me and let me help you get there.
10 thoughts on “No One Was Born a Perfect Communicator”
Very good article! I love your blog. I have enjoyed reading the information about communication skills. Thanks for sharing a nice article.
You are so sweet, thank you!
Totally agree! There should be 3 main subjects in high school: Thinking, Communicating and Practical Skills!
I’m with Dressner.
Social scientist Marshall McLuhan said: All forms of communication, large and microscopic, are at their core persuasion.
I guess they don’t want a bunch of persuasive adults running around so they don’t teach us communication skills!
Completely agree, and I think everyone can begin to hone their communication skills with a little help
I like how Ted Talkers are mentioned in this article. I’m always captivated when listening to a Ted Talk. When I try to relay the information from such Ted Talks to others, it never comes out as well as the original speaker. Like anything else, good communication is a skillset that requires practice.
That makes perfect sense! I’ve never thought about it before. You’re right, why don’t we learn all of these complicated things that adults get stressed over as kids, in school? So crazy.
I agree, it’s crazy! Teach your kids to speak well parents and teachers!!
I never thought about this before and now that I think about it, yes I have felt shame when I don’t communicate my best which kinda happens a lot.
Thank you so much for this article. I’ll try to spread the word!
I really appreciate the communicators, the Ted talkers like how they deliver their speech so smoothly in a perfect manner, that time I wish I could speak in such a good tone but yes practice makes men perfect and these good communicators have practiced a lot, and become quite good. I always thought I could never be that good, that it just wasn’t possible. But you’re right, evolution and education play a role.