How to Communicate and Be Heard

“Being a great listener is one of the best skills you can possibly have.

Amber Daines


Let’s begin today’s episode of The Culture of Leadership (TCoT) Podcast by getting straight to the point. Here are our guest speakers top three tips on how to communicate and be heard:

  1. Get trained
  2. Once the training is done, use it!
  3. Do something scary


Now that we know the ‘what’, let’s learn a bit more about the ‘how’.


Amber Daines was named as best business communication specialists and excellence in media training award for Australasia in the global 2020 Acquisition International Influence Businesswomen’s Awards. She is Australia’s most agile communication professional and crisis communication expert and designs and implements successful strategies across all forms of external and internal communication. Amber’s ‘sweet spot’ is improving how Leaders from all sectors speak right and advocate for their business and beliefs across media, internal communications and other forums.


Have you read: Lifelong Learning Equals Lifelong Employability – Dr Wilma Slenders


Get Trained

The first step in Ambers coaching sessions is a communications audit, where she spends time getting to know her clients. Amber is not big on changing who people are but rather bringing to the fore their best communication qualities and even pushing them a little bit further if they already do a lot of keynote speaking or webinars, in order to really amp that up to the next level. She commonly finds that her clients are very knowledgeable but lack the ability to excite or motivate their audience.

Leaders with poor communication skills don’t get their messaging right. A Leader needs to have a great team around them, simplify their message and back up what they are saying with expert opinions and strong policies. In a crisis, a Leader needs to understand that there is a time to be vulnerable and a time to be inspirational. They need to know their audience, exactly where they are in the communication process and not let fear stop them from apologising when something has gone wrong.


Once the training is done, use it

One way that Leaders can use their communication skills is to develop their personal brand. The key that Leaders need to be mindful of when they are communicating online versus offline is that ultimately, they need to be treated the same. The immediateness of online platforms can be harnessed in a Leader’s strategy however, even though online platforms (such as social media) are easily accessible and allow individuals to control their own message, the downside is the risk of becoming an echo chamber. Amber emphasises the importance of not getting into the habit of posting just for the sake of getting the message out there. If people are not listening, it quickly becomes a one-way conversation.


Do something scary

Leaders need to set themselves this challenge because it is very easy to play safe. Leaders will be very proud of themselves if they do something a little bit scary that pushes them and shows vulnerability, especially if they do it well.


Have you read: How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking – Kate Purcell


Leaders need to remember that listening is the first step in being heard. Being able to bring the human side to their leadership position and to their brand actually helps people get to know them, which is really the key. They also need to get comfortable with the fact that they are not going to be a leader for everyone.


There are so many more ideas that Amber has shared during our conversation such as the fact that most people only hear about 30% of what you are saying which means 70% of communication is nonverbal. Click here to learn the skills to master them both.


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