The fastest way to find a competitive advantage in your career is finding the right mentors.
Mentors can help open doors, point you in the right direction, and most importantly save you years of frustration with key advice that can put you back on the right track immediately.
Last month we published our list of the Top Business Communication Blogs of 2018 outlining the industry leaders in business communication and leadership.
To take things a step further we've compiled our top 5 best tips from these industry leaders to make up our best business communication advice for 2018.
Business Communication Skills Expert & Director of The Language Lab
Dr. Sandra Folk
Key quote: “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between the lighting rod and the lightning bug.” - Mark Twain
Key Advice: The words you choose when writing or presenting are a representation of your thoughts and ideas. They have a powerful impact on your listener or on your reader. If you want to leave the right impression, you need to be laser-focused, precise, and crystal clear.
Before you begin to write or to speak, ask yourself the following 3 questions:
- What’s your end goal?
- Who is your audience?
- What are the words that will best resonate with your audience?
And you need to edit, edit, edit.
Follow these tips and you’ll create that presentation that stands out, that email that grabs your new prospect’s attention, or that job you want!!
Remember: The starting point of any great email is a compelling subject.
Leadership Expert & CEO of OCLC, Inc
Key quote: "The best communication starts with silence." - Skip Prichard
Key Advice: We are bombarded with tweets, texts, emails, and updates. Worse, everything is marked urgent and requires immediate action. Technology, designed to improve communication, is often damaging it as we rush answers and send confusing phrases that lack tone and context.
That's why the best communication starts with silence, with a pause, with just a quick check-in to make sure you empathize and understand both what you are hearing and your response. With nothing more than a slow, deep breath, you can increase your clarity. Take a moment and try it the next time you're so rushed you don't think you have five seconds. No one will even notice, but you'll find that your communication power amped up just when you needed it.
Business Communication Skills Expert & CEO of Communication Beyond Words, Pte Ltd
Key quote: “Not every email message is informal.” - Jolynn Chow
Key Advice: Many people use email as an informal channel of communication. Yes, compared with a formal letter, email is less formal. However, there is a differentiation between a formal email message and an informal one. Before you hit “Send”, consider these questions: - Will your reader expect a more formal and respectful tone? - Does the context call for a more formal tone? - Are there secondary readers (eg: CC parties) reading your message?
Leadership Expert & CEO of Sanborn & Associates, Inc.
Key quote: "In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly." - Mark Sanborn
Key Advice: The success of your team—any team—is directly related to the quality of its communication. Effective communication is the prerequisite fuel for team success. When people stop communicating, the team quits working. And it isn’t about the quantity of communication, but rather the quality: the right people having the right information at the right time.
Business Communication Skills Expert & CEO of Rethinking Business Communications, Ltd
Key quote: "If you want quicker results, craft a powerful subject line. It opens the door for the magic to happen in your emails." - Lucille Ossai
Key Advice: Don’t ignore the beginnings of your emails. A strong subject line is the quickest way for your email to be opened. The secret therefore behind a great subject line is the benefit it promises for the recipient. By addressing your recipient’s what’s-in-it-for-me concern in your subject line, you significantly increase the chances of your email being opened, and acted upon.
At the core of every effective email is thus a carefully worded, relevant subject line.
Julie Winkle Giulioni
Key quote: “Intention always trumps technique.” - Julie Winkle Giulioni
Key Advice: Too frequently, we obsess over choosing the right words, following a prescribed verbal formula, or executing an interaction according to plan. We give a lot of attention to technique when there’s something far more powerful in business communication: intention. The communicator’s motivation - their goals and what they honestly are trying to achieve - always trumps technique. The spirit of the message overrides its syntax. What comes from the heart overshadows what comes out of one’s mouth. So, before you check all of the technical details of your communication, check your intentions. Get that right, and the rest will follow.