Making Your Point: Communicating Effectively With Audiences of One to One Million
Author: David Bartlett
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others,” Tony Robbins. This quote emphasizes the often underrated power of communication. Corporate relationships have been built and maintained, in the same vein, organizations have fallen from glory to grass-thanks to the curse and blessing of communication.
Even though effective communication skills should be an integral part of a good corporate culture, they are often neglected or terribly misunderstood. Making Your Point: Communicating Effectively with Audiences of One to One Million by David Bartlett, a renowned communication strategist, highlights the relevance of effective communication. He writes: “We often fail to appreciate the single most important aspect of all successful communication, whether it is across the breakfast table or in front of an audience of thousands. We forget that effective communication is always a two-way street and that the people with whom we are trying to communicate probably have expectations very different from our own and come to the situation with an entirely different perspective.”
The book is further divided into easy-to-read thematic sub-sections.
Look, Listen, Then Talk
The author asserts that effective communication is not limited to the use of pompous words or sticking to facts but rather clearly understanding the needs and expectations of your audience. Moreover, effective communication not only entails anticipating what needs to be discussed but also defining the parameters that the conversation will occur.
Bartlett argues that effective communication “is a proactive exercise. It is about playing to win, not just playing to lose. Effective communication is about telling your story, making your point and scoring points with your message. It is not defending yourself against someone else’s allegations.”
Tools of the Trade
In this sub-section, Barlet focuses on a number of effective communication tactics, ranging from preparing first-rate presentations to effectively interacting with the appropriate medium. The author’s advice to communicators is to remain straightforward and relevant to a wide range of situations. In this context, one’s message should be true (true to oneself as well as to one’s audience).
Making Your Point is filled with practical examples, such as the communications triumph that emerged out of the 1980s Tylenol scare and how Richard Nixon dealt a blow on his personality with his statement “I am not a crook.” These anecdotes magnify Bartlett’s arguments. Moreover, Bartlett does not engage in boring tell-tales. He actually makes an effort to practically demonstrate ideas to his readers. For example, when distinguishing between a message to be spoken to an audience and a message specifically written to be read on page, he designs two versions of the same message.