Communication Skills: Become More Clear, Concise, & Confident | Alex Lyon | Skillshare

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Communication Skills: Become More Clear, Concise, & Confident

teacher avatar Alex Lyon, Communication Professor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome & Course Overview


    • 2.

      Long-Windedness Problems


    • 3.

      Concise Messages


    • 4.

      Concise Sentences


    • 5.

      Clear Points


    • 6.

      Confident Pauses


    • 7.

      Eliminating Fillers


    • 8.

      Confident Nonverbal Communication


    • 9.

      Next Steps 58 seconds


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About This Class

This class helps leaders develop clear, concise, and confident communication skills. Each lesson is hands-on and looks at common but ineffective examples of communication and turns them into effective examples. You'll learn how to develop that crisp and confident sound that sets great leaders apart. The course is designed specifically for educated professionals who want to improve their communication skills so they can have more impact as team leaders and managers. The communication skills you'll learn can be applied to one-on-one conversations, team meetings, and presentations. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Alex Lyon

Communication Professor


I make courses to help emerging leaders build their communication skills. I believe that good leadership and communication change lives. I formed this belief when I was young. My first few bosses made a big impact on me. Some of my supervisors were excellent but others had weak leadership skills that made everything worse. Now that I am a leader and supervisor myself, I want to help as many new leaders as possible increase their impact so they can lead their teams with excellence.

I've been a full-time college Professor, consultant, and speaker for almost 20 years. I published my first book in 2016. 

Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin:

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Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome & Course Overview: good communication is a must have skill If you want to be an effective leader, the time and effort you put into improving your communication skills is one of the best investments that you can make in your career. And in this course I want to give you exactly what the title says. I want to help you become a more clear, concise and confident communicator. In the course, I take a real hands on approach. I give you concrete tips and in real time we look at poor examples of communication and turn them into effective examples of communication. In terms of my background, I'm Alex Lyon and this is my area of expertise. I teach college on the topic of communication. I have been doing consulting and workshops and communication and leadership for more than 15 years. I wrote a book on the topic and I have a growing YouTube channel on the topic as well. So I invite you to join me now in this course and clear, concise and confident communication on. I hope to see you in the first lesson 2. Long-Windedness Problems: Hello and welcome to the first lesson of this course. We're going to be working on long windedness, and in my experience in professional settings when people are overly talkative, it's one of the worst possible impressions they can make on other people in terms of their communications. So we have to get at this issue and order to eventually come across as clear, concise and confident. This is really the root of the problem for a lot of people. So tip number one is that long windedness is a key enemy of good communication. And if words like Gabby, chatty, verbose and talkative, accurately describe you, if you've ever said this about yourself or of people around, you have ever described you this way then that is not a good thing. Don't wear that like a badge of honor. We really have to get at long windedness. We're gonna look a quote by Alison Green. She's a writer for US News and World Report, and she was talking about job interviews. And one of the killers of job interviews that will get you not hired is being overly talkative in a job interview. Now we're not talking generally about job interviews in this course, but it does show you how people think about you when you're too talkative, she writes. This you might think, well, some people a long winded, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't do a good job. The problem with that is, at minimum, it signals that you're not good at picking up on conversational cues and raises doubts about your ability to organize your thoughts and convey needed information quickly. So when you're long winded, it sends off a bunch of negative signals, and then other people are going to create the wrong impression about you. So it's very important to get to the bottom of this. So strategy Number one. Figure out why you are sometimes long winded. You might not be overly talkative in every situation, but when you are, what are the situations that trigger that what's going on in your mind that triggered you to talk too much? Are you anxious? Is a lot of reasons. Are you nervous what's happening there because all of the great practical tips in the world are not going to solve the unspoken problem that is driving your long winded ist in the first place. you have to get to the root of the issue if you really want to make progress. So let's take an example of a physician, for example. His overly talkative nous is probably rooted in some unspoken belief. So this is very stereotypical of highly educated people. We get this big education, and we want everybody to know how smart we are. And so the physician might be thinking that maybe it's unspoken, though he doesn't even realize he's thinking. I just want everybody know I'm smart and then as a result, he's talking way too much now what happens is that people around him don't say anything about it. They just listen politely. And they said, Oh, really? I didn't know that. They just go along because we're generally polite people. But in their heads they're making judgments about the person talking too much so they never really say anything. They never say, Hey, you know what you need to wrap it up because we're professions were trying to be polite, but they will nevertheless walk away with an impression about you and negative conclusion that you do not want them to draw. So we're long winded for various reasons, and I want to know what your reason is. Give that some serious thought. Here are some examples of reasons that I have come across over the years. One of them is insecurity. When people insecure, they might get nervous and talk too much. Another one is self centered nous. They just like to be the center of attention. They think everything is about them, and so they're going to talk because they want everybody to know that the world is about them. You might want other people to know everything that you know, like you want to show them how smart you are. Like the physician, you might like the air time and the attention Maybe, for example, you have a little bit of a performer in you. And so you like it when people are paying attention to you. And so that's why to talk it, you might mistake talking for adding value. So you might think Well, if I'm talking, I'm contributing. But maybe what you're saying is not really contributing. You have to give that consideration as well. You might miss take another one as you might mistake more talking for good communication like I know some people who are really long winded and they think I'm a good communicator because I can talk. Well, just being able to talk doesn't make you a good communicator anymore than swinging a racquet around makes you a good tennis player. You have to know how to do it. Why? To do it when to do it. You might also have control issues. This is a big one. I have seen a lot of people want to talk. They want to be the one talking so they can essentially dominate the conversation. So if they're talking, they're in control of the situation. They don't have to listen. They don't have toe go along with anything that anybody else is. So what are your issues? Look at this list. And maybe your reason for talking too much is not on here. But whatever it is you have to get to the bottom of it takes some time, reflect on this so that you can put all the other tips in this course into practice and get the most value out of it. Strategy number two is you have to gauge your long windedness on a scale of 1 to 10 1 is your pretty concise five is in the middle and 10 is You're really talkative. What you want to do is figure out where you are. So where are you on that scale? And I know you might say, Well, it depends on the situation. Well, when you are the most talkative one, all those triggers air happening. Where are you? On a scale of 1 to 10 and then set a goal to be below five. If there are a handful of people in the room you want to be and the more concise half of that group in terms of how you're communicating, so set a goal as you go through this course. And as you put these tips into practice to be below five, strategy number three is to commit to conciseness. You have to try this to see the effect. You have to say, You know what? I'm going to commit to being concise and conversations in meetings and in presentations. I'm gonna make this a new value that I am committing to so that you can start working on. This is FDR said, Be sincere, be brief and be seated. And he was talking about presentations, public speaking, and that's certainly an application for what we're talking about in the course. But it really applies to conversations and two meetings in general, you want to commit to being concise ahead of time so that when you're in the moment, you're gonna come out much more crisp, and I also want you to commit to practicing. Of course, the tips in the next lessons and all the lessons arrested in the course. And remember why you're doing this in the first place? Why do you want to be more clear, concise and confident? There are a lot of benefits to this. First, people will pay more attention to what you say. That's a huge benefit. People will remember what you say when you're more concise. What you say will have more impact, and ultimately it will help. You lied more effectively. So concise communication is basically the hallmark of an effective leader, and if you really want what you said have impact, you have to work on them. So, to recap, long windedness is the key enemy of good communication. As far as your takeaways figure out why you are personally motivated underneath to be overly talkative. Get out that issue number to gauge your long windows on a scale of 1 to 10 where are you? And then commit to being below five and then also commit to practicing Lee tips in the rest of the course. And the next lesson. We're going to look at how to Forman overall concise message so that it'll land the right way. I look forward to seeing you and next lesson. 3. Concise Messages: Hello and welcome back. We're going to talk about how you could form a concise overall message. So in the last video, we talked about how long windedness was a key enemy of good communication, and now we're going to start to work on compressing your overall message. So the key tip for this video is keep your overall message tight. That's the nice sound that you wanna have. Mark Twain once wrote. I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long letter. Instead, he's writing a letter to a friend, and I love that quotation because really, it takes time and thought to take whatever it is you want to say and compress it into a shorter message. This is not automatic, so if you're writing things out frequently, you might revise an email to compress it. And the same thing. If you're talking to somebody in a meeting in a presentation in a one on one conversation, you have to give your message some thought so that your overall messages more compressed and everybody appreciates a concise message. If you're doing a presentation, people want you to finish on time, maybe even a little early. If you're in a meeting, they want you to take a nice short talking turn in that meeting and compress that message so you can have a dialogue. If your it's your turn to talk in a regular old conversation, then they certainly want a chance to talk as well. So you wanna take a short talking turn there. And if you have anything like an elevator pitch where you're explaining the value of what your team ads, you want to make sure that's nice and compressed because people are watching you. And if you start going long, they're thinking to themselves, wrap it up already. They want to tell you like, Look, it's time you gotta finish. You don't want to go over. You want to compress that message, And when you're compressing the message, you have to rely on strategies. This is not automatic, so strategy number one skip to the heart of the message. Typically, we know what we want to say if we give it a little bit of thought. And so once you open your mouth, you want to skip to that bottom line. You want to really skip to the heart of the message. So skip the preamble. Don't give a whole long, chatty introduction. It's not really going anywhere. Toe warm things up a little bit. Just skip to the heart of the message. Skip all the little qualifications that you might make along the way, like Oh, well, we're not really saying this, and I was wondering about that, but here's what we're really saying. Skip those qualifications. Just go right to the heart of the message. Skip the whole big backstory. People don't need to go all the way back to the Book of Genesis to understand what you're trying to say. Give them on Lee what they need so that you can get to the heart of the message and skip the thinking out loud. Don't take them on the whole journey that you have gone through to arrive at this thinking a little bit of warm up. It's fine, but you really just want to skip. You don't want to think totally out loud all the time. Skip to that heart of that message. That's the way you do it. So think of your looking at everybody in a meeting or in a presentation, and just think to themselves when they're looking at you, they're thinking, bottom line me, They're thinking, Just say what you came here to say and that will start moving you in the right direction. So let's look at an actual message and get some practice year cutting to the heart of the message. I'm going to read the whole thing. And then, as I read it, I want you to think, really, what is the key here? If we only had two or three sentences, what is absolutely necessary to keep in and what can go away? So what's at the heart of this message? Let's look at this. So I was driving around the other day doing, you know, Aaron's and what not. I saw cargo by that looked just like yours. At least it looked like your car to me. Do you drive a Toyota? Anyway? I saw this card. It made me think of you. You know what it might have been? Ah, Honda, not a Toyota. Their SUV's looks so similar. Long story short. It made me think of you, and that's why I called. It's been too long. We should get together again to talk about that project. I was wondering if you'd like to put something on the calendar. You know, it might have been a Subaru. So again, what's the heart of this message? What needs to be there above everything else? And if you're asking me, I think it's all the way toward the bottom. I think it's It's been too long. We should get together again to talk about that project. I was wondering if you'd like to put something on the calendar. If that's all you said. When you have a conversation with the person, you're mission would be accomplished. The rest of it is just preamble and chatter and thinking out loud that does not need to be there. So that's the heart of the message strategy. Number two. Make your point and then zip it. In other words, get to the heart of the message end. You're talking. Turn literally, close your mouth and then give that person a chance to talk. You want to create a dialogue between yourself and other people in conversations, and that goes for meetings. You want to make your point and then let it become a discussion. You want people to discuss and participated meetings that is happening in conversations you want toe and you're talking turns so they can contribute and you can have an exchange of ideas. And even in a presentation, you want to end your presentation nice and concisely so that there's time for Q. And a sum of most valuable moments come out during the Q and A following a presentation. So make sure you skip to the heart of message and then zip it. That's how to do it. And one of the ways to do this is that you want to look for signs from the people that they are reading you. And typically, what this looks like is that people are nodding their head at what you're saying, and they're making other kinds of nonverbal cues that signal that they were following you like they've got you now. The reason I mention this is that a lot of times people will make the mistake of thinking that head nodding and other kinds of positive nonverbal cues means Hey, I like what you're saying. Keep talking. But really, what most people are trying to do is signal like, yeah, I get it like you've major point like move on. So watch for those little head nods and signals. That's when you know they've already got what you're saying and you can move on. So it's looking a message here, and I want to ask you, what would you cut from this message? So remember, were working on skipping to the heart of the message and then zipping it, then closing your mouth so that you can turn it into a dialogue. So let's say somebody asks you, Have you contacted the meeting planner yet? And here is the long winded. The answer and we're gonna cut it. No, not yet. I still have to figure out what we need from her. I've gotta call scheduled with the Children's Ministry leader, but I have to see if that call is actually going to happen. I was also waiting to hear back from the musicians. If our first music choices available than that will shape the rest of the program, there are lots of balls in the air, but we'll get there. I just didn't anticipate so many loose strings, you know, that would still be loose at this point. So that's a very long winded answer to a very direct question. Remember again, The question was, have you contacted the meeting planner yet that as a yes or no question. So if we were me, I would say that the bottom line is No, not yet. I still have to figure out what we need from her. That is the heart of the message. And then what you can do is close your mouth and allow a dialogue to happen. And now the person who asked the question can jump in and ask another question so they might respond to say, Okay, all right, and again there, nodding. And you want to look for those clues that you can stop talking. So let's say they start saying all right, okay, and they're nodding while you're finishing a sentence. That's when you zip it. That's a good signal toe. Let the person that you know is a speaker that they have their following you. So watch out for those nonverbal cues. Strategy number three. This is like the easiest one to dio. You want to finish just under time. Typically, four presentations and meetings and things. There's a schedule, amount of time, and you want to make sure you're on the short side of that time. So let's say you have an hour for a team meeting. Wrap it up in 55 minutes. Make sure you finish is a little bit early. Let's say you're given 30 minutes for presentation. Finish it in 28 minutes. You know, 28 minutes for a 30 minute presentation. Everybody loves you at 32 minutes for 30 minute presentation. People like Just get it over with So you don't want to overstay your welcome, especially in presentations. So let's say you have asked for a five minute conversation with a person. Make sure you wrap that conversation up in four minutes. In fact, true story. I was trying to meet with an executive years ago, and I kept trying to meet with her and kept crying, and she kept blowing me off. And I said, I just need 10 minutes. I literally in 10 minutes and finally we schedule the meeting and I beforehand. I said, You know, I'm gonna finish this meeting in eight minutes just to see what happens, and I finished it in eight minutes. I zipped it. I thanked her and she said, Wow, you weren't kidding. You really only needed 10 minutes. Being concise instantly sets you apart and you're going to seem like you really know what you're doing. You're gonna come across as a leader, so let's recap. Keep your overall message compressed and tight key takeaways. Air skip to the heart of the message. You want to be able to say in 2 to 3 sentences, then you want to. Once you make your point, zip it, close your mouth, and then in any occasion with is a schedule, make sure you finish just under time. And the next lesson we're going to look at how to form concise sentences, which is an art in and of itself, and I look forward to seeing you in that lesson. 4. Concise Sentences: in this lesson, we're going to talk about how to form concise sentences, and that's the key lesson of the whole video. Do you want to sound more clear, concise and confident? Use short sentences. That's the sound that you want to go for and we're gonna practice in this video. Oliver Wendell Holmes, a poet, said. Speak clearly. If you speak it all, carve every word before you let it fall. Those that sentence alone has has been carved up pretty well because that's very hard to say. An important idea very quickly. It takes effort to shave off words so that the heart of your message is still intact. So you want short sentences that pop concise sounds more confident your ideas will be more concrete. When you have short sentences, your ideas will be more memorable, and ultimately you're going to sound like more of a leader. Leaders really think about their word choice, and when they're at their best, they're often being extremely concise in their messages. So short sentences sound like news headlines, not the whole news story. They sound like the topic sentence of a paragraph, not the whole paragraph. They sound like bulleted items in a list that nice, compressed sound. And really they sound like one line jokes. They're not necessarily funny, but a concise sentence has been worked on, just like jokes have been worked on. You want to use his few words as possible without sounding too clipped when you only use one word or two words that can sound rude. So you want to use maybe one sentence with some detail in it, but not all the way down to single words or tiny little phrases. So strategy number one to get there is to when you're looking at a longer sentence, a longer statement. You want to shave words. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is probably one of the most successful comedians of all time, and he is known for being a riel shaver of words. He carves off words brutally to get down to the heart of a joke. He has a joke about Pop Tarts, the breakfast food and he says about them, they can't go stale because they were never fresh, which is hilarious because it's true in a way. But it's also funny because it's very short, short sentences stick, and somebody asked him about how he works on jokes, and he was talking about how sometimes jokes could get too long, and then they lose their humor. If it's too long, just a split second too long, you have to shave letters off of words. You count syllables to get it just right. It's more like song writing. And what he means by song writing is that when you're writing lyrics to a song, it has to fit in the number of beats you have. So you have to really shave off words and is the same way for jokes. Comedians know that a short joke will stick, will cut through and be very funny. And we want to take that good advice and apply it to our communications. Do you want to get rid of clutter and shave those words? So let's look at a side by side example A and B, and you tell me which sentence sticks. They basically say the same thing. Both riel statements from people. At least one of them is from a movie. The other ones from a real person, and you tell me which one sticks in the end. A. If you're bored and disgusted by politics, and don't bother to vote. You are in effect, voting for the entrenched establishments of the two major parties who please rest assured, are not dumb and are keenly aware that is in their interest to keep you disgusted and board and cynical. And to give you every possible reason to stay at home, doing one hitters and watching MTV on primary day. Keep that sentence in mind. And now let's look at Option B. If you don't vote, you don't matter. And that was said by a character played by Sean Penn and a movie. We played a old time politician, so you don't have to agree with the sentiments and the message. But which one is going to stick? A. Which, Honestly, I don't even remember anymore having that. I'm not looking at it right now, so I don't remember it, or if you don't vote, you don't matter. I remember he said that in the movie a few times and years later I still remember that statement because he's shaved off unnecessary words and that sentence it really cuts through. So let's shave the quarter to make this answer a headline. Let's say you're in a conversation and somebody says a few things have come up complications. I guess you could call them that are going to cause unforeseen delays. And I'm not sure if we could get it all done by Wednesday. Now we might. I'm just saying that we're going out to see what happens and play it by ear. So if we were to shave off anything unnecessary in that one sentence, this is one sentence. What would it say? I think the middle part of this statement is really what we're going for. I'm not sure if we can get it all done by Wednesday because of delays. I think that whole sentence, the whole idea could be compressed to this concise version. And if we want to get even more surgical about it and shave other words, you might say, I'm not sure if we get all done by Wednesday and put the period there now again, you don't want to go all the way down to a single word. If someone asked you a question, you don't want to say Wednesday that might come across as a little blunt and a little standoffish. You want to give some detail while you're while you're shaving it down, let's try another one. I get this question all the time. I grew up in Rhode Island that was born and raised there, lived there for until I was in my twenties. And when people visit, they almost always ask me, What do you recommend we do when we visit Rhode Island? So here's a long winded version. What could we shave out of this answer? Well, let's see. I'd probably say the most amazing place. I mean, it's just a really amazing as long as the weather is good. Is the beach in Rhode Island because that's what we're known for. And it's not called the Ocean State for no reason. So what would you say? That person's answer really is. What do you say? I'm really trying to say here, How could we shave off this clutter? If it were me, I would get rid of almost everything, except for the very beginning and then the beach. I'd probably say the most amazing place is the beach. That's really the heart of the message of we shaved off all those unnecessary words. Now, again, you could just say the beach, but that might sound a little bit standoffish, a little bit blunt, like you don't really want to talk about it. So ah, full sentence with a period at the end is good. Not necessarily just single words. So the overcorrect strategy to use plain language now this is one I sometimes get a lot of resistance on. People don't want to use plain language that everybody can follow. But I want you to consider this as we talk about why this might work. I'm saying you should avoid words like utilize problematical and academia and instead use words that are plain language substitutes like use problem and college that some people might say, Well, I really want to say utilized. I think it just sounds smarter. Well, okay, maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't. But if we want to sound clear, concise and confident, you have to look at what the effective leaders do in the world, and they use plain language that really cuts through. That's the goal. So don't use flowery language when simple language will do, and I encourage you to try this out and see the difference it'll make and some of the thoughts. So let's say this these words in plain language. How would you say, Contemplate? How do you say? Like, oh, I want to contemplate about that. Well, let's contemplate that. I would say Think, How about commence? Like, when shall we commence? I would just say start, What about terminate when we're gonna terminate that end those air single syllable words very hard to misunderstand those words. Now I again in any given moment, it's okay to use a slightly fancier words. Overall, you want to use plain language because that's what's really going to cut through. So here's an example of a sentence that might not even be that understandable to you because it has a few of these complicated, flowery words in there for no reason. I was reflecting on my position. I have altered my perspective on the matter. That person might have some intelligence, but I really don't exactly know what they're doing. And for me, I want people to follow what I'm saying. So I would just say I changed my mind and really, that's all that sentence says. I was reflecting on my position and have altered my perspective on the matter. That's a really fancy way to say I changed my mind. So strive for that nice plain language when you can. So to recap, use short sentences and the two takeaways to get there are to shave any clutter. So think about what you want to say and then get rid of anything that doesn't need to be there. And secondly, use plain English whenever possible. I encourage you to put this into practice in your everyday conversations and meetings, and especially during any kind of Q and A after presentations. A lot of times people want to sound extra fancy during the Q and A, but that's when you want to be extra clear and use nice short cancers and your human eight to create that dialogue. So go ahead and put these into practice, and I will see you in the next lesson. 5. Clear Points: in this lesson, we're working on clarity. That means you want to organize your thoughts into clear main points. People love it when you talk in main points, because it's easy to follow. If you're disorganized or you give ah, huge long list of items, it's very hard to follow. But when you communicate in main points, it's going to give you that nice clarity and give you that nice confidence sound like this person really knows what they're trying to say. And really, leaders talk this way. In most cases, when I see leaders come into a meeting or some interaction, they know the main points they want to hit, and they're very clear about it. So this is what we want to strive for. There's a cartoon I saw a while back. I couldn't find it, but all recreated. It's a picture of a messy desk, and the caption says, If you think this is bad, you should see the inside of my head. In other words, if we have a disorganized minds, disorganized thoughts were going to communicate and disorganized way in the same way, Richard Feinman says. If you can't explain it to a six year old, then you don't really understand it. And the idea behind this is that you have to first get clear on your own thinking and do the home work behind the scenes so that when you open your mouth and share your message, it's clear to everybody else. First clear thinking, then clear speaking. And to do that, you need a structure. You need some main points. A structure provides a schema. When you're thinking in main points, you are forced to clarify your own thoughts. It's going to then help your listeners follow along, and it gives your overall message a sense of cohesion. It's going to flow and stick together, and it really helps everybody remember. So strategy one is to break your message into two or three chunks. I always aim for three main points. Maybe you have two, maybe three, maybe four, but you want aimed for three. That's a great way to organize your thoughts. And let's say I'm going to give an update as an example. Let's say I'm at a meeting and I'm representing a team. I'm going to give an update on my team. I would take my headline, which is I'm here to give an update on my team, and then I would figure out what three buckets that I wanted to put my ideas into, and in this case I would talk about projects, hiring and morale on the team, and that's pretty much the way I would say it At the very beginning of my meeting, when it was my turn to talk, I would say I'd like to give you an update and how things were going on the team. I'll talk about projects, hiring and team morale, and then I would go back to my first topic, which is projects and give all the details under that bucket and then follow that pattern throughout the rest of my update. For the next few minutes, I have a nice, clear schema that people can follow along with. That's much better than going in and just winging it. You have to do the work beforehand so that you're clear in the moment. Another example might be, let's say, I have a plan that I want somebody's approval of, and I have to go to this meeting and pitch my idea. So let's start with my headline and say I have a three part plan to grow. The three parts are first, we're gonna use social media. Second, we're gonna hire a recruiter. And third, when a revamp our training program, that's the way you want to say nice and clear short phrases with a little pause in between . That's clear thinking. And then again, I would expand on each of those main points in the rest of the conversation. And you can use this in a meeting. Ah, one on one interaction or even a presentation when were organizing our thoughts. We have a lot of options. How do I choose my main points? How do I choose the order off my main points? Well, on the previous examples, I just chose whatever was unique to my particular situation in my department. And sometimes that's the way you do it. Other times you might want to do it chronologically, like past, present future in terms of what you want to talk about, you could do it steps in a sequence like how to a lot of how to demonstrations have steps in a sequence that you have to follow. If you're doing a persuasive message, you might do problem solution benefits. Those will be your three points. Cause effect is another way, especially, you have two points short term versus long term. For whatever topic you're on costs and rewards. You could cobbled together any kind of meat point she wanted. This is a starting place for ways to logically organize your main point so that when you communicate, it has that logic built in, and that will make it much more clear for your listeners. So let's practice with this poor example of Let's say, my wife's. It's a stream of thought example where my wife says, Hey, how's your day been so far? And then I say to her this rambling message, and then we'll look at this and we'll make it better. So how is your day? And I say, I got up, got ready a breakfast and worked out. I did some shopping on the way home from the gym. I bumped into Katie at the store. She wants to get together tonight, actually got some work done during the day. Shots and videos did some editing and organize the tools in the garage. I was hoping to get together with Katy and John tonight But I also have some people to get back to some calls to make, or at least a couple of text to stay on top of some things. So there's a long, disorganized message to a very simple question like, How's your day going so far? And if I were to look at this and think of what structure naturally fits this, what schema? I would say chronological is the way to organize these thoughts morning, afternoon and evening. So I would talk about how my morning went home, afternoon went, and then what I'm looking forward to in the evening. Once I have clearer thoughts, I can communicate through this schema. So that's tip number one strategy one Strategy Number two is to then state your roadmap. Once you have your main points in mind, you want to share this out loud for people in the meeting, in the conversation or in a presentation, you want a forecast, these points out loud. So let's say you were meeting in a one on one conversation with your physician and you have high blood pressure. It's very likely that the three points you're going to talk about in this meeting about your high blood pressure are the symptoms, causes and treatments of your high blood pressure, and your physician will walk you through these steps. And if you know what to listen for, that's what the physician will say to you. And so, along the way and your conversations of meetings, you have to signal which point you're talking about. Bring them along the way. So if you're talking about symptoms for a couple minutes when you transition to causes, you want to make sure. So let's talk about what might be causing your high blood pressure and you talk about the causes for a minute or two is a okay, let's discuss treatment options. You have the signal, your main points along the way, whether it's chronological cause effect problem, solution, benefit. You want to make sure you're walking people through your your main points. So to recap, you want to organize your thoughts into clear main points. That's the way leaders talk. Your take away strategies ours to take whatever idea you're trying to express whatever message you have, and look for two or three main chunks that you can break it into and put some logical order to those main points so that people can follow along. Number two. You want to communicate that road map very clearly so everybody can hear it and they can track exactly where you are and follow those main points as you go. So you can use this again in one on one conversations, meetings and certainly presentation. So I I invite you to put that into practice in your next opportunity. I'll see you in next video. 6. Confident Pauses: this lesson, We're going to talk about how to use pauses effectively. We want to use pauses to add emphasis to our ideas. Pauses are really an under rated part of the way we talk when you have no pauses or pauses air in the wrong spots, it can make even a regular length message sound really long winded. You want to pause at the end of your sentences. Pauses in the right place can make you sound much more clear and concise. And good pause will add emphasis to your ideas. And we'll give anything you say a rhythm or that nice, confident cadence that leaders often have. There's an old actor from the black and white days, Ralph Richardson said. The most precious things in speech are pauses When you pause in the right place ID. It really has a lot of emphasis. So Strategy number one is to pause at the end of sentences, and that might sound pretty straightforward. But it takes a little bit of practice to get there. When you pause at the end of a sentence and makes anything you say, sound more confident. It lets listeners except your idea. It gives in that moment to accept and remember what you just said, and it gives you a natural stopping place for your message so that the other person can jump into the conversation. One of the key values we have in this course is creating a back and forth dialogue. A conversation through a communication and pauses will help do that. So pauses give other people a chance to jump in and have that conversation. So let's listen to what pauses in the right place should sound like. Let's look at this message. We have a few items to cover today. We look at our social media campaign well, look at her overall growth and Aaron will take suggestions about changes to the website. Pretty basic, but that's where the pauses should go, where the periods are at the end of the sentence. I like to visualize this as a list of bullets instead of a paragraph. It helps me remember to get to the end and put a period, get to the end and put it, period. And that's the kind of sound that you want to have and pauses at the end of your sentence is literally punctuate your statements and give it that nice, confident, crisp sound. So Strategy number two is to avoid pausing mid thought where the most common things people will do was they'll pause in the middle of an idea to think about what they want to say at the end of a sentence. But pausing in the middle can really make an idea. Drag. You want to pause at the end of a sentence and then use that just moment, literally just a second to think about what you're going to say next to the end. And it taken ordinary message. And if you pause in the middle, it can make it sound labored and long winded, even if it's the same length of message overall. So here's an example that we used earlier. Now I'm gonna pause in the wrong places. It's the exact same words, but I'm gonna put the pauses in the middle of the ideas and listen to how awful it sounds. We have a few items to cover today, and we'll look at our social media campaign, will look at our overall growth, and Aaron will take suggestions about changes to the website. I don't know if that sounds off to you, but it sounds really bad to me. It sounds like what it's gonna happen. It makes me anxious to hear long pauses right in the middle. It builds up the wrong kind of anticipation, So you want to put your pauses at the end of your sentences. For that nice, clear confidence sound strategy, Number three is to pause to separate your key I ideas. In another video, we talked about adding main points to a message to add that clarity. So let's say you're doing a presentation and you're giving a roadmap of items that are coming up in that presentation. The main points to come. You want a pause between each of those items. If you're setting up a meeting like you're telling people here, the items were gonna cover in this meeting today, you want a pause between those items and any time you're giving a list of any sort, you want to pause where the commas are to give people some clarity. So you let's listen to what that sounds like for a list. Eighties rock is the best because it has loud drums, crunchy guitars and soaring vocals. So you want to pause where the punctuation would be where the Commons are, and that will help at a lot of clarity to that. So it's recap you want a pause in the right place to add clarity and emphasis to your ideas , terms your key takeaways. Pause at the end of sentences and avoid mid thought pauses. That'll make it sound Draghi, and then separate any ideas that you have any key ideas in a list with pauses. And you can use this in a lot of different places and basically all your communication and presentations and conversations and in meetings. And this lesson on pauses is directly related to the next one on fillers, you might say, um, you know, like so we're going to use pauses to fix that problem. So if you struggle with fillers than that is the next lesson, I will see you in that pleasant next 7. Eliminating Fillers: in this lesson, we're going to work on a problem That's a huge issue for a lot of communicators. And that is fillers. When you're saying, um, you know anything like that those air called fillers and it's really robbing you of that clear, concise and confidence sound that we are going for. So the tip is to avoid fillers in all communication, not just your presentations. Fillers will drag out and muddle your messages and fillers make you sound very unsure of what you are saying. So here are some common fillers, right? Sort of kind of something like that. Um ah, you know, so and and there are many others, and the first thing I'd like you to notice is that not all fillers air. Um, and, uh, there's a lot of real words that people use as fillers. One common one is the word and for example, so when they're giving a presentation, every sentence will be connected with the word and and so you're going to sound very long winded. You're not gonna be clear, concise and confident at all. And what you want to do is get rid of those fillers. So we're going to rely on a strategy from a previous video, but the first strategy is identifying your filler habits. You have to figure out what your fillers air. Most people have very specific fillers that they use over and over again. It it's not likely that you use every filler that we've just talked about on that list, so you want to listen to the way you communicate and pinpoint yours. If you don't order it, already, know it. One of the ways to do this is to listen to a recorded presentation. You could record a new one. Even if you talk for 30 seconds on camera on your phone, you would probably figure out what your filler is, or you can ask a trusted friend. They'll be able to tell you so identify your particular filler habit that will make it a lot easier to get rid of strategy. Number two. Replace your fillers with pauses, so I mentioned how we're going to use a previous strategy. In another video, we talked about how pauses in the right places can make you have that nice, clear, concise and confidence sound. So instead of your filler, you want to leave silence some people call fillers, vocalized pauses. What you should be doing is pausing, But while you're thinking you're generating a sounds out of nervousness or out of the feeling like you have to sound like you're saying something and it fills in what could be a beautiful pause. So you wanna put those pauses back in there? That silent pause will give you time to think and time for you to sound a little more confident as well, because that pause can can really do that for you. So let's return to an earlier example that sounded pretty good when we did it, and we're going to put a bunch of fillers in where they shouldn't be, and we'll notice how muddled it makes it sound. And then we'll fix it. And I put the feelers and red So we have a few items to cover today. And, ah, we'll look at our social media campaign and, ah, we'll look at ah overall growth and, uh, Aaron will take, you know, suggestions about changes to the ah website, and it might sound like I'm exaggerating here, but I've heard a lot of people communicate this way, and maybe you have heard a lot of people, too. Instead of putting those fillers in, just commit to letting silence come out of your mouth instead of a filler. So the pauses here will be where the fillers were. So it'll sound like it should like we did in a previous lesson. We have a few items to cover today. We look at our social media campaign. We look at our overall growth. Airmall take suggestions about changes to the website. No, I read through it without the fillers and without some of these middle pauses. So you'll notice here that there are some pauses in the middle of these thoughts, and we talked about this in a previous lesson. You want to put your pauses at the end of your ideas at the end of the sentence, so it sounds like a period ready. The end. That's where they should go. In the short run, however, a pause in the middle of a thought is still better than a filler in the middle of a thought . So this is a stepping stone. First thing you want to do is take your fillers out and then put your pauses in and then continue to work on putting your pauses at the end of your sentences. So to recap, you want to avoid fillers. They are going to rob you of that clear, concise confidence sound that we're going for. Take away strategies are to identify your particular filler. What do your habits figure out what that is and then replace those fillers with pauses. With a little beat of silence. It's going to restore that clear, concise and confidence sound, so I'll see you in the next video. 8. Confident Nonverbal Communication: in this lesson, we're going to look at how confident nonverbal communication can enhance your message. We're talking a lot about burgle communication here, but we'd be missing something, especially in terms of confidence if we didn't talk about nonverbals, because people will form an impression of you By the way you come across through your nonverbal communication and distracting nonverbals can really diminish the impact of your message, but good nonverbals can enhance and at emphasis to your ideas. So let's get into three strategies for doing that, and the 1st 1 is direct eye contact. You want to use direct eye contact as much as you can when you're speaking and when you are listening in a one on one conversation, you want to make eye contact about 80% of the time. Or so you can't look at them the whole time because it's just one person, and that's a little bit of an intense moment of connection, like you're staring at them, so you have to look away and break eye contact once in a while. If you're talking, though, to a group like a meeting or in a presentation that you want to look at somebody in the room about 99% of the time, and you want to divide that up among the members, you should only really be looking at your notes or somewhere else about 1% of the time. Somebody in the room needs your connection, and you do that through eye contact. There is a researcher named Adrian Furman, and he writes about eye contact and other non verbal communication. And he said, in a study about confidence, he said the confident, the bright and the socially dominant look more with direct eye contact while does the opposite for the socially anxious. And what that means is, is that when we're making eye contact, it shows that we are confident. That's one of the ways you know, And when people are nervous and anxious, they don't do it. So as soon as you're making eye contact with people, they're going to perceive you as a more confident person, even if you don't feel it on the inside. But you get credit for it, even if you do it. So what is direct eye contact mean? Well, it doesn't mean looking at your phone, you have to look directly into people's eyes as if you're trying to let them know. I see you like, I see that you're there and they're going to recognize that and see you, too. It takes work, though, takes courage. It's not the easiest thing to do. I admit that it's a little bit like looking into the lens of a camera someone says posed for this photo and yet to look into that lens. It's kind of awkward. It feels like What am I doing? But as you practice, you do get better at it. I'm looking at a lens right now and for a long time doing this if ovary awkward, but now actually feels like I'm talking directly to you. So it is something that you can get better at. You can improve on your eye contact with practice. The second, on verbal strategy to coming across is more confident is a smile. So the question is, who doesn't like a smile? When you're talking to somebody, you want them to smile at you, and you can do the same for them. People often don't realize that they're giving off a blank facial expression that stone faced. Sometimes they're even scowling like they haven't attitude in their face, and they might not realize it. You may not realize that you're not smiling. For example, I can tell you, I can tell you how many times and maybe you've done this. You pose for a photograph of some sort, and you thought at the time you were smiling. But then you go back and look at it later. And you think I'm I thought it was smiling, but I really don't look all that happy in that photograph. So becoming aware of what your facial expression is doing as the first step. It's a research that shows that confident people smile more, and when you smile, you instantly look more intelligent and studies so that a lot of benefits for you as a communicator when you're smiling. But you have to practice this a little bit. You have to communicate. Let your face know that you want to smile. Also, though it has to be genuine. You can't really fake a smile, so the tip is that if you feel happy about what's going on, if you feel happy to see someone, if you feel happy to be there, then show it through your face. Comedian Sarah Silverman had this conversation with a teenage relative of her. She was hanging out with this teenager, this niece, I believe it was, and her niece had this attitude on her face all day. And so Silverman said, Hey, is everything okay? Something bothering you? And and he said, No, I'm I'm happy She said, You're happy right now and she said, Tell you what? If you're happy right now, I'm gonna change your life right now. If that's your default face, put a smile on their. In other words, she's saying, Look, if you're happy, you should show it on your face. That's really important that people know that otherwise you might not realize the bad attitude. Your nonverbal communication is giving off, and a smile looks more intelligent and especially more confident. Strategy Number three You want to gesture. Gesturing is one of the easiest, the on verbal things you can do to come across as more confident gestures at a lot of emphasis and enthusiasm to your ideas, and it makes you look more confident. In fact, there are studies that show that leaders in a meeting the high status people in a meeting will gesture more frequently than the followers. So all you have to do is get your hands above the table, put him on the table instead of under the table and start gesturing when you talk and it'll add a ton of emphasis and confidence to your ideas. So those air three non verbal strategies to help you come across as more confident and those will enhance all the other lessons on verbal communication that we went into. 9. Next Steps 58 seconds: Well, congratulations. You have made it to the end of this course, and I really appreciate you going through this journey with me. For me, the key theme that goes throughout this course is this is the way leaders communicate. They communicate clearly concisely end with confidence in terms of your next steps, I suggest that you look at your calendar and you figure out when you can put this into practice right away. So what's your next key? One on one meeting that you have or meeting that you're going to attend and participate in . Or perhaps it's a presentation. Put it on your calendar and prepare your communication for that interaction the same way you would prepare for anything else. Really put time into crafting your message so it's clear, concise and confident using the tips in this course again. It's been a pleasure to go through this with you. I hope we get to see each other in future courses. God bless