Improve How You Communicate Next Year

Right about now, I find myself thinking about the New Year — my plans and goals for it.  Perhaps you find yourself doing the same.

Have you ever made communication resolutions?

I always like to reflect on what I’ve done well and what I could improve upon next year when it comes to communicating with my colleagues, employees, and clients. You’d be surprised at how much you can strengthen your relationships with the people around you, when you’re able to be a bit more mindful of communication missteps.

Even small changes in how you communicate can have a big impact on how others perceive you. And, setting communication resolutions isn’t just good for individuals — organizations can also take stock of what’s gone well this past year and where they could improve in 2015.

As you think about your own communication resolutions, I thought I’d share the two communication missteps I saw professionals make most often this year — and offer tips on how to avoid them.

Be more concise.

I’m willing to bet that you sat through at least one presentation or meeting this year during which you couldn’t help but look at your watch, check your email, doodle on a notepad, or just stare blankly at the presenter in an effort to seem interested.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to let your presentation grow too long. Whether, out of passion for the topic or because they possess a level of technical knowledge their audience doesn’t, people often delve into detail that’s unnecessary or unwanted.

Here’s how to avoid the trap of too much detail:

It’s always tempting to put a lot of data into your presentations, but rarely will a non-technical audience appreciate it.

Be more dynamic.

Admit it – this past year, you also sat through one or two presentations where you thought you might actually fall asleep. And, it wasn’t because you weren’t interested in the content.

A boring delivery will make even the most interesting content difficult to digest. Slight adjustments in body language and vocal energy can dramatically improve your delivery and keep your audience engaged and focused.

Finally, I’m a firm believer that there’s always room for improvement.

I may be a communications coach and trainer, but I’m also human. I still make mistakes and I’m always striving to improve my delivery. So, even if you’re already a great presenter, hopefully by being mindful of the above tips, you can become an even better one.

Or, perhaps this blog will serve to stimulate your own thinking about how you and your organization can improve your communications moving forward.

As always, thank you for being a loyal blog reader. On behalf of the entire Mandel organization worldwide, I wish you a very peaceful and prosperous New Year!


Steve Mandel

Steve Mandel

Steve founded Mandel Communications in 1983. He is a renowned presentation skills trainer and coach and the author of the highly successful book Effective Presentation Skills. In addition to serving as a key Mandel company executive, Steve thrives on working directly with clients in one-on-one coaching and group workshop settings. He has a deep understanding of the communication challenges faced by professionals and executives in high-stakes settings and works with clients to pinpoint and address mission-critical communication needs. Steve's business success and his avocation as an accomplished amateur astrophotographer have earned him special recognition in Forbes magazine.