It’s hard to resist the attraction of the “red carpet” at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) every September. There’s something really compelling about watching Hollywood stars, people I usually see on the movie screen playing a role, as actual human beings.
This year I found myself thinking about how much those red carpet moments actually matter not just to the fans at TIFF, but also to the actors themselves. It’s an opportunity for them to interact with their audience. Even if it’s just a smile or a nod, it’s being there in the flesh, up close and personal.
The interesting thing though is that successful business communication also depends, to a degree, on that personal connection. It’s a topic I’ve touched on before in various blog posts. So in honor of TIFF, I decided to compile a kind of “best of” tips list about how to make a personal appeal to your “audience,” whether it’s a client, a boss or an employee.
How to get “up close and personal” in your business communication
1. Get physical: So much of our person-to-person contact is about how we connect physically. Do you make eye contact? Is your body posture confident and relaxed? Do your gestures underscore the points you want to make? See: Nonverbal Communication.
2. Be thoughtful: Choose your words carefully, using compelling language. Powerful language can help to create change, and influence other people. Always make sure that both your choice of words and your tone are appropriate for your audience. See: The Art of Persuasion: Key to Effective Communication.
3. Be a storyteller: A good deal of engaging communication is really about storytelling. Start a presentation, for example, with something personal, an anecdote. It makes people listen to what you have to say; it’s the “hook” that draws people in. And make it something from the heart, because ultimately it’s about trying to make a real human connection. See: Four Top Tips on How to Make Your Communication Impressive.
4. Be focused, and ask good questions: Good business communication is like a good conversation, and a good conversation depends largely on two things. One is paying attention and listening to the other person. Two is asking questions that draw that person out. The same applies to business communication. To be heard, understood, and responded to considerately is at the bottom of most high quality communication. See: How to Get the Answers You Want.
Remember; people in business, as in the rest of life, need personal interaction. And even if we never saunter down the red carpet wearing a designer outfit, it’s still good for business.
For more top tips on how to get “up close and personal” and be more effective in your communication, take advantage of our 15% fall discount and sign up for our popular business email writing course.