5 Tips for Talking To Anyone About Anything

I talk. A LOT.


I write a lot about talking to people and developing solid relationships in our day to day lives at work. For me, this is important because I have to talk to new customers and the contractors that serve those customers. I personally love this and thrive on it completely. I could talk to anyone about anything in almost any setting. Large groups – bring it on! One on one with a complete stranger pitching a sale – heck yeah, I’m there!

But that’s not the case for everyone. A lot of people worry about rejection, messing up, giving incorrect information, coming off as uninformed, and a whole slew of other anxieties linked to how they will be judged/perceived by their audience. This can apply to public speaking, sales pitches, cold calls, outreach, you name it. Heck, it even applies to interviewing for jobs!

Although I’ve never suffered from fear of talking (my fifth grade teacher signed my yearbook “dear miss chatterbox” and my mother regrets to this day that she ever complained I was late to start talking as a child), I do know exactly what an audience responds to and what’s required for them to receive what you’re talking about positively.

1. Confidence – Show confidence in whatever it is you’re talking about. Skip the “um”, “yea”, and “like” garbage. By leaving out the filler words, it appears you are confident even if you’re not feeling that way. You come off as direct, prepared, and concise. You could call this the “fake it ’til you make it” technique.

2. Competence – Know your stuff. Do your research. Be prepared. Anticipate potential questions ahead of time so you can answer them easily if they arise. There’s no way to fake this… you just have to do your homework before you start talking. It’s hard work that almost always pays off.

3. Honesty – If you get a questions and you don’t know the answer, own up to it! Advise your audience that you’ll look further into their question and get back to them. Then be sure to get back to them… quickly.

4. Authenticity – Be yourself! You don’t have to act all stuffy if you’re delivering a technical lecture and you don’t have to be Rico Suave if you’re trying to pitch a sale. Leave the cheesy, greasy used-car-salesman-ish fluff behind (unless that’s how you are all the time – in which case, I’m sorry). Be genuine and be yourself. I’ve often been heard saying “I’m not going to sugar coat it. I just can’t make that happen. But let me figure out a way to get us closer to that goal.” People appreciate a straight-shooter.

5. Reliability – Always follow-through with whatever you commit to. Nothing appears more untrustworthy and envokes an audience to feel as if their time has been wasted than failing to follow up. If you tell someone you’ll be back in touch or you’ll email everyone the meeting notes, by golly – DO IT. And do it promptly.

Even shy or fearful speakers can garner trust and rapport with strangers by exuding these 5 characteristics. My non-chatterbox brethren don’t have to feel pressured to be comfortable with speaking to people or groups to win their audiences over, they just have to show the receivers the five traits above. The more and more practice with this and experience with delivering well-received content, talking will become a little easier. It may never become second nature, but it can be tolerable enough to drudge through without anti-anxiety medications.

Are you a talker like me? What characteristics do feel are the most important for successful talking?

Are you a bashful bob or betty? What do you fear the most when giving speeches or delivering information to strangers?

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4 Comments on “5 Tips for Talking To Anyone About Anything”

  1. brittany220 Says:

    Nice pointers! Those are 5 good things to keep in mind!

    Reply

  2. parisianfeline Says:

    These are great tips. Even though I always participated in a classroom setting, I never volunteered to speak in more informal setting that included my peers. I never felt comfortable, like they were interested in what I had to say. So I said nothing. But I was never afraid of public speaking because I enjoy talking, especially about myself or what I like and getting to know people. I’m sure, had I grown up in an environments where my talking was encouraged, I’d be a chatterbox too. :3

    Reply

    • Madam Energy Says:

      I’m glad you liked these tips! Keep in mind that so long as keep these tips in mind, you can engage almost any audience to be interested in what you’re talking about! 🙂

      Reply

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