To get things done you need to be able to convey ideas clearly and effectively. Below are five elements the best communicators employ to deliver their message.
1. Get to the point. Say what you want. Say it up front. Then provide the background and supporting facts, figures, stories. Letting people know what you want up front provides context, it shows you value others time and lets the person prepare appropriate questions.
2. Stow the bullshit. Be credible. Prove your authority by demonstrating you're knowledgeable or have expertise in a specific area. If you can’t do that - if you don't have expertise on an issue - say so. No one is expert on everything. Saying, "I don't know" when you don't know, displays integrity and character, and convinces others you're worth listening to when you do know.
3. Relate it to them. Here's the thing, we're busy. We don't care about you. We don't care about your problems. We care about solving our own problems and our customers' problems. Help us do that and we'll reciprocate.
4. Create an emotional connection. People need to know what you're saying will matter to them. Connect by giving them your undivided attention and linking your message to something that matters to them. A great technique is to frame your message in a brief, relevant story.
5. Be clear. All the authority and empathy in the world won't help you if people don't understand your basic idea or how you came to your conclusions. Make a clear argument that people can follow, wrap your message in narrative, and be prepared with data and analysis to back up your points.
6. Ask yourself this question. Before you approach anyone -- to communicate anything -- ask your self: What do they want? You may not know the answer - the answer is beside the point. Asking the question shifts your focus away from yourself and onto the other person. That's the point.