As an entrepreneur you are either trying to sell people on your ideas, products or services, or some combination of them all. Whether your audience is made up of one or one thousand, remember this one simple truth: great communication makes the difference between where you are, and where you want to be! Add on the fact that, according to the National Institute for Mental Health, 74% of all people admit to suffering from some form of speech anxiety and you may be committing some communication mistakes that are hurting your potential for success.
Your communication style should reflect the following:
Your brand as an individual
Your business brand, since the business is often and extension of the entrepreneur who runs it
How you serve your customers’ needs
If you do all three well, you’ll close more business and make more money.
So let’s get back to the blog title question, where I ask what “brand archetype” fits you and your business. In marketing, there are 12 generally accepted brand archetypes that consumers recognize. Those with a clearly defined brand are more memorable and allow people to trust them more easily. Today, we’ll focus on the first four: the Creator does just that, like Loews helps you “build something together.” The Caregiver helps you care for others like Life Alert and Hoveround. The Ruler enables people to take control, like VISA “everywhere you want to be.” Or the Magician, who is, frankly, me. I help people eliminate their fear and dislike for public speaking so they can connect with their customers and employees in a more concise, confident and compelling way.
Once you identify your brand as an individual, you can develop a communication style for optimum success. Your style includes three very simple components: Your message, voice tone and body language. 93% of the impact you have on your listener is influenced by the latter two. In fact the biggest mistakes happen in these two areas. Some women who get nervous get the sing-song or valley girl tone. They appear afraid and inexperienced. Men who are nervous or uncomfortable might default to the other extreme of monotone and flat delivery. They appear disinterested or aloof. And let’s not forget what most people do when they are nervous: they’ll fidget, or worse, read their notes or PowerPoint and forget all about eye contact and audience connection. You can’t appear confident, capable, and ready to do business, if you’re committing one of the many communication faux pas made by most business professionals. The biggest challenge in overcoming these issues, isn’t nerves. It’s self-awareness. Most people don’t know they’re committing these and other mistakes, and most audiences won’t tell you! They just talk about you after you finish.
Once you get your delivery style in line, you must focus all of your attention on your message. After all, even the most attractive and engaging speakers need substance to leave a lasting impression. For example, are you speaking about what interests your audience? Do you use their language or your own jargon? Does your message include language that reflects your brand?
Creator: Build, create, start, initiate, grow, etc.
Caregiver: Protect, save, support, provide, etc.
Ruler: Lead, empower, demonstrate, strengthen, etc.
Magician: Empower, enhance, transform, improve, showcase, strengthen, eliminate, etc.
If you use fillers (um, like, you know, kind of, sort of, a little bit) and words that lack confidence (maybe, possibly, try) you won’t have the impact you want on the people you’re trying to influence. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to refine your message, you just need to be clear on what you want to say. Good luck and may all of your prospects lead to new business!