6 Basic Communication Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Develop
Entrepreneurs are communicating all the time. We're trying to make our company look good to investors, employees, and clients. However, as entrepreneurs we may not really take the time out to hone our communication skills.
Being a good communicator gets your core message out to stake holders, sets clear expectations, inspires your team, opens up opportunities and positions you as a strong leader.
Now, let's look at the top six communication skills every entrepreneur should master.
Email has brought the written word back into focus. From our updates on LinkedIn to sending emails, we're judged by our writing skills. If we send out a poorly written email, it might make us look bad and may not get us an opportunity to present our product to a prospective client. However, a well written email has a higher probability of getting opened, read and replied to.
Somebody said, "Great leaders are great speakers." Entrepreneurship is about leading, inspiring and motivating people to achieve great things. Sometimes, as a start-up we're trying to achieve great things with an average team. During these times, trying to understand what drives your team and communicating your message clearly is vital to your success.
Words from John F Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs and many other great leaders have shaped people's thoughts for several generations.
Almost every speaker at a business conference uses PowerPoint presentations. A picture can speak a thousand words. When you can connect with people verbally and visually, there is a stronger impact.
PowerPoint presentations help you do just that.
Investors and clients expect some sort of presentation of your business.
Michael Smith, Founder of SlideHeroes says, "Presentation skills are one of the most underrated skills today. It's definitely something that can be learned just like anything else. But people rarely take the time to learn it. A good presenter sells better, makes an impact, and communicates clearly. It's definitely worth the time and money to learn this skill."
Is this communication? Definitely, yes!
Every product or service is a solution to a problem. Listening helps you understand your customer's problem and identify solutions to solve those problems.
Most people are too busy talking to understand their customer's needs.
"It's not what you know, it's all about who you know." Heard that before?
This common phrase in business holds true even today.
Social media might be a great platform to connect with people, but do not ignore the power of live events.
There is something about meeting people in person, shaking hands, and exchanging business cards. Just getting out of the office and catching up with someone over a cup of coffee can be very relaxing, while it's also good for networking and building relationships.
Grant Scheiner, Managing Partner of Scheiner Law says "As a law firm, we're in a trust based business. So building a relationship with our potential clients is very important. Given the sensitive nature of criminal defense, we prefer face-to-face connections to social media or any other communication. It also gives us an opportunity to get out of the office."
#6 Body Language
Ruth Sherman, a communications expert who helps celebrities and top executives improve their presence says, "Majority of communication is non-verbal. That includes all of the things we do without saying a word."
Most people make judgments about a person before they even speak a word. Having a strong presence whether on stage or in everyday life could be the difference between getting that big contract or losing it.
Remember, most people are rarely listening. So body language is probably more important than words.
Communication is a very important skill for business leaders. Besides all the other skills like marketing, sales, accounting and operations, it's also important to focus on this vital skill. Investing in good training programs, seminars, or a master coach can be very rewarding on the long term.