You have taken the time to assess your audience, you know your goals, you know the information that you need to present. However, now comes the hard part of figuring out what communication barriers can hold you back from your ultimate goals in your career or business.
The truth is that no one is perfect at communicating and we all should actively take the time and engage in reflecting on our own communication skills and barriers that may lie waiting for us. If you are aware of the barriers that stop you from gaining speaking success, you can overcome them.
Common Communication Barriers When Presenting
- Fear And Anxiety. One of the biggest barriers to presentation success is fear and anxiety. Standing and speaking in front of a group of people stimulates our fight or flight instincts. The trick is understanding how your body naturally reacts to the anxiety caused by a presentation and learn how to cope best with the anxiety you are feeling.
- Lack Of Enthusiasm. Do you truly believe that your product is better than the competitions? Do you appear and sound confident? The benefits of your product will not be convincing if you aren’t able to communicate that passion, enthusiasm, and commitment to your audience. Be aware of your facial expressions, practice incorporating them into your message, and be sure to match the appropriate expression to each situation.
- Lack Of Experience. Sometimes you just need a few presentations and wins under your belt. Inexperience is hard to overcome however, hiring a speaking coach can dramatically cut down the time you spend to get you to an expert level.
- Overuse Gestures. People routinely fidget with their hands, pens, jewelry, etc. If you’re constantly using movement and random gestures, you can be very distracting to the listener as well as not being able to focus clearly yourself. Confident speakers commonly use gestures to add emphasis to their words. To gesture with purpose, avoid locking your elbows at your sides or creating the same repetitious fidgeting or gestures.
- Lack Of Eye Contact. The best way to build a relationship is through trust. One of the most powerful means of communicating your confidence and conviction is sustained focused eye contact. When speaking to more than two individuals, try to connect with one individual for a complete sentence or thought. Practicing good eye contact is a skill for effective and vital communication and is often under-rated and under-utilized.
- Giving A Vague Or Confusing Call To Action. It is remarkable how many presentations, even the good ones, often end without telling the audience exactly what they should now go and do. Or at times, the direction is given but too vague. Your call to action (CTA) is the prime opportunity to motivate your audience to take active steps toward becoming a customer or client. It can be the determining factor for a strong lead.
At its simplest, communication is an exchange of information between two individuals. Therefore, the significance of communication cannot and should not be underestimated. It is crucial to be able to communicate effectively in negotiations to ensure you achieve your optimal goals.