What do Warren Buffet, aluminum, bottled water and Ernest Hemingway have in common? All 4 can teach us a powerful lesson in how to sharpen our communication skills.
Lesson 1: Warren Buffett
Prioritize Your Communication Skills
Warren Buffet said that the number one skill that any of us can have is effective communication skills. Why would he pick communication out of all the other skills? I ask you the exact same thing. As it relates to your plans and goals, where do effective communication skills rank on the scale of your priorities in your business? Think about your business presentations. Are you still opening your presentations by telling people what your company is and how great your products and services are? Are you still using Power Point? If so it might be time to take a look at your communication skills and the tools you use to communicate.
Lesson 2: Aluminum
Adapt Your Communication Skills
At one point in history, aluminum was actually far more expensive than gold. In fact, when dignitaries were invited over, they would actually eat on aluminum while the staff and servers ate on gold. Why? Because aluminum was so much more expensive due to the difficulty in extracting it. Around 1889 though, that process was dramatically reduced. In terms of cost, aluminum then became widely available as its price dropped dramatically. All of a sudden, aluminum was easy to get a hold of and everyone had access to it. This is exactly what’s happening today in the business market. As it relates to your business presentations and sales communication skills, everyone has access to cameras, YouTube and media. As a result, the market has been saturated the same way aluminum saturated the market in 1889. My question to you is this: as the market conditions have changed, and people’s ears have gotten much more picky, and their appetite to buy has changed, what has changed in your communication skills? How about in your sales presentation design and delivery? Have you become as commonplace as aluminum?
Lesson 3: Bottled Water
Give Them Something Different
Alkalized water is called “real” water. Not only is it alkalized, but it has negative electrons in it as well. As you probably already know, cancer cant live in an alkalized environment. Not only that, but when you drink the water you can taste the difference and you can feel the difference. It looks like regular water, so it’s not until you consume it that you taste and feel the difference. So here’s the question: when people consume your message, do they taste something different? Do they feel something different? Or are you giving them what everyone else is giving them because it’s safe? The problem with safe is that safety typically means stale and boring. My challenge to you is to get creative! Take chances! Go off the beaten path! And next time you give a presentation, bring a bottle of water.
Lesson 4: Ernest Hemingway
Give Them Something Uniquely You
Ernest Hemingway wrote “The Old Man and the Sea” in 1952 and went on to win the Nobel Prize for it in 1954. What would compel people to continue talking about someone’s work so many years after it was created? The answer? We have to be true to who we are. If you’re designing your business and sales presentations by watching what everyone else is doing and reading what everyone else is talking about, you’re going to end up giving away what everyone else is giving away (which no one is really interested in). So I’m going to ask you to bring your true self to the table… who you are and the unique twists only you can bring. What special variety, what uniqueness can you add to the conversation as it relates to your business sales presentation? If you’re doing what everyone else is doing, it’s very safe, it’s very comfortable, but it’s wildly ineffective. I ask you to bring something different. Take a chance. Take a risk. Change your perspective. And write your own best-seller.