Pretty Please

If you were to ask me to name a couple of things that I find satisfying, I could probably come up with many. Such as the smell of a pepperoni pizza coming out of a hot brick oven; or the sensation of seeing a glamorous view of the New York City Skyline one spring evening; or even the nap you decide to take after your two hour lecture. Needless to say, there are just those special actions, which trigger this inner satisfaction, however, one that I would like to mention is persuasion.

Now, how does satisfaction and persuasion go hand and hand? I love it when I am able to get someone to do something I want him or her to do, and really, who doesn’t? Being able to get what you want and the only thing you had to do was speak to the person sounds too good to be true. Though, this might be accurate, one must think about what happens when the other party is not on board; what must one do next? A person must be able to apply a set of skills which will not only get one to understand what you are talking about, but to also influence the other party. The two I would like to delve into is the effectiveness and power of listening but also knowing your audience.

Listening

Furthermore, where does one start and how do you get someone to listen to you? What I mean by this is for example, you want your sibling to get you a drink from the refrigerator and they automatically say no without even hearing what you wanted. One argument, which can be made, is that if you are not a good listener or you are known in the past to not even listen at all, there is a very little chance that another person who knows you will listen to you. Enhancing this skill will come in handy because it can establish you as a creditable person who is considerate, which this would put the thought in peoples mind such as, “Oh yeah, I’ll do that for him because I know that he’ll do that for me.”

Know Your Audience

Additionally, another aspect in which I feel is important in persuading people is having a plan. Meaning how are you going to execute this plan effectively, which signifies the importance of knowing who you are speaking to. Knowing your audience comes a long way because it will not only save you time but also in some sense, effort which will create efficiency. Also, it can most likely eliminate other plans, which you might have had in how one was going to approach the situation.

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The Birds and The Bees

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I know I’m a guy, but I am going to try my hardest to be as general as possible so that YOU could understand. I know for all of the ladies out reading this (hopefully) right now, are probably super excited to ponder over my breakdown when it comes to this process, and to see if I actually know what I’m talking about. As for the fellas, I hope you stumble across this and see what you have possibly been missing, or have been doing all along. Though I want to make it extremely clear, whether you are a girl or a guy, it’s all about the approach. Consider these questions: “What is my in?” “How effective will this short/long encounter be?” “Will they remember me after.”

Although some of us may look at the act of communication as a skill where most of the time it feels like second nature, we must understand and consider how much planning goes into using other channels of communication. Lets discuss a romantic scenario, a little bit cliché but bear with me. After a wonderful evening set with beautiful weather, breathtaking views, and to wrap up, a fulfilling dinner made up with each other’s favorite meals to complete this incredible ambiance, the night reaches an end. Of course we will be gentlemen and make sure that our lady arrives home safe and sound, though what happens next.

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I know the first thing that comes to mind is, “I’m going to text her and we’ll talk about the night etc.,” or “He’s going to text me and we’ll talk until I fall asleep.” Although this may be true, would you believe me when I say there is something that could endure the sensations of the night into a memorable reflection? Guys, what do you think about writing a thank you note for an exceptional evening? Associate Healthy Living Editor of The Huffington Post, Alena Hall, gives us “9 Reasons Not To Abandon The Art Of The Handwritten letter.” This will not only set you apart from the men and the boys, but will also uncover a set of colorful characteristics she might have not noticed before. Which might fall under your creativity, your intentions, and your ability to take the time to care for someone other than yourself. Where one thing is for sure, it will be noticed.

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Furthermore, knowing which channel to use when communicating will help you in other aspects of life, which does not have to involve a significant other. Some of these people could be coworkers, bosses, friends and family. Deciding how you want your message to be received will depend on how effective you channel your message. Whether it is verbal or nonverbal, it can make all the difference and even add more of a meaning to it.

A Sigh of Relief

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It is inevitable! At some point in time you will need to communicate with other people. Even if we were to create an extreme situation where we think the transfer of information is not occurring… it probably is. “Hey Moe, what if I decide not to speak for the rest of my life?” That’s fine and all, however, this would be extremely hard, and also would you really want to do that? Plus, you will still be communicating to other people through gestures, emotions, etc. It is hard to think of a situation where we do not need this skill and still be effective communicators. Which leaves us with one option, and that is to look for ways to enhance our forms of communication.

Furthermore, there are multiple obstacles that are holding people back; one of the biggest attributes to this is fear or another words, stage fright. According to the article “Fear of Public Speaking Hardwired: Speech Anxiety Worse for Some, but Most Can Overcome It,” by Daniel J. DeNoon from WebMD Health News, he interviews Dr. Paul L. Witt who is an assistant professor of communication studies at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. One thing, in which Dr. Witt stated, was that there are plenty of people who fear speaking in public, “it is even scarier than rattlesnakes.” “The idea of making a presentation in public is the No. 1 fear reported by people in the U.S.” I, as a student, have encountered multiple times, this feeling which Dr. Witt is explaining throughout high school and sometimes in college. Nevertheless, I have learned some steps along the way, which reduced my fear in talking in front of people, and improved my public speaking skills.

 

Know Your Information

This is what I believe to be one of the most important elements in assuring not only a good presentation but also as a great confidence booster. Knowing the ins and outs of your topic in times of nervousness or hesitation, could save you an embarrassing moment and better your presentation.

Organize

Now that you know your information, it is time to organize your thoughts and give it structure. This will help you navigate through your talk, speech, or presentation. Where the only thing on your mind is your information outlined in the way you feel is best. Which in theory would eliminate the noise, which can distract you in the environment you are in.

Practice

Practice, practice, practice! One of the most cliché sayings out there, “practice makes perfect,” in this case it applies just as much. The more you practice your presentation/speech; it would feel like second nature, which will make it go smoother.

Other Tactics

Hey, Who’s That!

Think of the time when you first met your best friend. What were you wearing, what were you thinking, what made you approach them? And finally, did you think that after this moment, they would be your best friend? As one thinks of these experiences it is important to realize and consider, how much energy do we really put on paying attention to not only our surroundings, but also those people in it. Reflecting on it now, I feel that I have strengthen this skill in multiple ways. Beginning my freshmen year of college, a professor made us do an exercise to test how aware we are of things. Instructing us to close our eyes, to then ask us questions and think about the answer. Some questions asked were “what is the color of the persons shirt sitting next you,” “what did you have to eat” etc. Once the activity was over, I noticed that I could not answer all the questions asked. Since then I have tried to be more aware so I could use it to my advantage.(See how you can improve your attention to detail here!)

For example, when going to other countries, people tend to be more alert due to a number of things. Such as the attractions, not use to the area, or even fear. Whatever the case may be it causes one to pay close attention. Allowing someone to really cherish the place where they are and learn the culture. Doing this can expand ones knowledge about different people, which could lead to new encounters with others, and spark friendships. This could also improve a person attention to detail; due to the fact that they are willing to learn about some of the specifics regarding other people from different cultures. This will also teach those very people how to appreciate and respect other cultures.

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Though what can also arise is stereotyping, and trying to avoid inappropriate stereotypes could be difficult. The reason I believe it could be difficult is because they are everywhere, gender stereotypes, race stereotypes etc. However, there are ways to avoid and eliminate them. Meghan M. Biro wrote a piece for Forbes titled “5 Ways To Smash The Generational Stereotype Trap.” The five steps she gave were for avoiding the workplace generational stereotype, however, some of the steps could be used for others as well. The one I thought which seemed the most affective was her second step: disprove the stereotype. Educating yourself to the point that you feel inclined to do something about it, where this could also teach you something about yourself and other individuals.

There are so many stories out there with regards to peoples background and their upbringing. Some of those stories are emotional, motivational, inspirational, etc. Don’t be afraid to learn more about other people, who knows, those new encounters could change some aspect of your life for the better!

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